For a brief and shinning moment, it seemed that Cuba had unblocked access to several websites censored for years because of their criticisms of the government, including the U.S. government’s Radio/TV Marti.
And it wasn’t even April Fools’ Day.
On Thursday afternoon, Cuba’s Web surfers began noticing that they had access to Radio/TV Marti; Cubanet in Miami, which publishes work by independent and dissident journalists; and the Spain-based Cubaencuentro, also critical of the government.
Also unblocked were Twitter, Skype and Revolico, a portal for Cuban classified ads blocked apparently because it competes with state-run stores on the island nation, according to several Havana residents and Miami contacts.
The Raúl Castro government never said a word, and Cuba watchers began wondering whether Havana had taken a step forward in allowing more freedom of information in the Communist-ruled island nation.
By Friday afternoon, the blocks were back in place, and there were unconfirmed reports that their brief removal had been the result of a mistake on the part of a Cuban government technician.
“Everything seems to indicate that it was an error,” wrote Alejandro Ulloa, who first reported the lifting of the blocks, in a tweet Friday around 5 p.m. “In other word, yes, these sites are prohibited for Cubans.”