December 14, 2010
The Cuban government unveiled EcuRed.cu—its version of Wikipedia—on Tuesday, but its debut was complicated by connectivity issues. Only about 1.6 million Cubans have Internet access, out of a population of 11.2 million, and many found it difficult to navigate away from the site’s homepage.
The website has over 19,600 entries, and claims to provide visitors with “a democratizing, not-for-profit, objective, non-colonial” viewpoint. Unlike Wikipedia, EcuRed users must be pre-approved by site administrators before creating new entries or editing existing ones.
The entry on the United States describes it as “the empire of our time” and a country that "has taken by force" territory and natural resources from other nations, to put at the service of its businesses and monopolies. Meanwhile, the entry on former U.S. President George W. Bush describes “a long family history of dirty business, tricks and government intrigue.”
As of today, the encyclopedia has no entries on President Raúl Castro's controversial economic reforms, Damas de Blanco, or on well-known dissident Guillermo Fariñas, who this year was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.