Cuba has accused the United States of attempting to undermine its government by providing dissidents with access to the Internet.
The Cuban Foreign Ministry charged that the U.S. is “implementing” a policy of “subversion” through its Interests Section, located at the Swiss Embassy in Havana, by “promoting, advising, instructing, training, financing and supplying their mercenaries with technology.”
“The Interests Section has gone so far as to assume training tasks, establishing illegal Internet connections and networks to provide training and offer courses to people, with the objective of their acting against the interests of the Cuban state in a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Cuban law and the very agreement which led to the establishment of the Interests Sections,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement published in the state-run Granma newspaper.
The Communist government heavily restricts Internet access in Cuba, and believes dissidents communicate and organize by circumventing these restrictions.
The U.S. State Department said its Interests Section provides free access to the Internet and computer training classes, which it said was standard for all of its diplomatic missions.
"Obviously, this wouldn't be necessary if the Cuban government didn't restrict access to the Internet and prevent its own citizens from getting technology training," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, the BBC reported.