Entertainment

A 26-Year-Old Has Created the Underground Netflix of Cuba

Cubans have found a way around the Cuban government’s strangle hold on digital media via a DIY subscription service called El Paquete Semanal. A new report from Vox shows how with very limited Internet access, Cubans are able to get their hands on the latest movies, music, and television for only a few bucks a week.

El Paquete Semanal is one Cuban’s middle finger to the digital media embargo in Cuba.

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Credit: Vox / YouTube

For more than 50 years, Cubans have essentially been cut off from the Western World, especially when it comes to movies, music, and television. Imagine having The Walking Dead banned from your TV.

A group of people in the US and Cuba are making it possible for Cubans to get their Game of Thrones and Beyonce fix without the Internet.

Network
Credit: Vox / YouTube

And they are taking that content and distributing it to all of their subscribers around the country. Yes, they have subscribers just like Netflix and Hulu.

READ: Cuban Youth So Hungry for American Trends, They are Willing to Risk Everything

All the movies, songs, and shows are put on a hard drive and replicated so the weekly entertainment can be hand-delivered throughout Cuba.

And this shit isn’t like the bootleg DVDs you might buy down the street. Everything is high quality and full HD.

High Quality
Credit: Vox / YouTube

?

Being a member costs you about $2 USD a week, less than a movie ticket.

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Credit: Parks and Recreation / NBC / allfatherthor / Tumblr

It is such a lucrative business that Cuban media is now paying for subscriptions in El Paquete Semanal.

“We exist on the Internet but the Paquete Semanal has such a wide range of distributors and it’s sold all across the country,”Antoinette Duquesne, a writer for the Cuban magazine Vistar told BBC. “So, this is the best way for us to connect with our audience.”

Subscribers can pick and choose what they want to watch/listen to but many just get the full terabyte of entertainment.

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Credit: Vox / YouTube

“I can copy whatever I want,” Ana Lauren of Havana, Cuba told BBC. “If I don’t want to copy music this week I don’t have to. I only copy the things and shows that I want to use this week.”

There are small groups specializing in different entertainment media, gathering the latest and hottest stuff worth watching and listening to.

How THey Gather Content
Credit: Vox / YouTube

READ: Cubans Just Got WiFi This Year and They Already Figured Out How to Use it To Migrate Safely to the U.S.

They even have it down to a science so they can deliver the most current entertainment possible.

Stuff They Have
Credit: Vox / YouTube

El Paquete Semanal has given some Cuban youths a chance for much needed and hard to find income in the communist regime.

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Credit: Vox / YouTube

And it also serves as an underground Craigslist where Cubans can get and exchange goods and services without the constant barrage from the Cuban government regulating the amount of good they are allowed.

But who is the person in charge? He goes by the name Dany Paquete.

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Credit: Vox / YouTube

I see what you did there, Señor Paquete. #clever

The 26-year-old has become something of a digital media kingpin on the Caribbean island.

Chain of Command
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His business model has been so successful that a rival business offering the same service has emerged in Cuba. Paquete welcomes the competition to push them to progress.

It’s impossible to know how many Cubans use El Paquete Semanal, but the service touches the whole country.

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Credit: Vox / YouTube

And if someone doesn’t use the service, they definitely know about it.

READ: These Secret Bedrooms Tell You A Lot More About Cuba

Check out the full video below:

Credit: Vox / YouTube

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The ‘Traveling Selena’ Instagram Page Is The Sweetest Fan Page You’ll Find On The Internet

Entertainment

The ‘Traveling Selena’ Instagram Page Is The Sweetest Fan Page You’ll Find On The Internet

travelingselena / Instagram

At the height of her fame, Selena was a Tejano star whose concert attendance shattered records both abroad and at home while also gaining her certain type of love and adoration that can only be attributed to her fans. Today, nearly 30 years after her death, the American singer’s legacy has continued its stretch across the globe, partially in thanks to a devoted Instagram profile called Traveling Selena which features the late singer in Barbie doll form at some of the most recognizable sights around the world.

Twenty-four years after her death, Traveling Selena is making sure her influence is still being felt across the world.

In the style of a traveling gnome, the Instagram account is taking n the Tejano singer to some of the most recognizable sights in the world. Even more exciting the page’s creator features Selena wearing some of her more memorable outfits. The page’s account describes itself as taking pics in front of some of the most beautiful places! Outfits and pics are all my own.”

So far Selena has gone to the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

During her career, Selena expanded her fan following by touring New York City, Argentina, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Central America. At the time of her death, despite her broad international fan base which included countries such as Japan and Australia, she had not traveled much outside of the Americas. Now ya girl is getting to do the Bidi Bidi Bom Bom wherever the account goes. Including.

To Phuket.

Where even ancient dragons aren’t as fire as her replicated outfits.

They’ve even taken her to San Fran…

Where Selena’s most basic fan base will adore the Instagrammable pics taken by the bridge and the house from “Full House.”

And to see one of the world’s most iconic figures of all: Selena herself in wax form.

How meta.

6. San Diego

I love that they have Selena being a true millenial taking pciks in front of mural art.

7. The zoo

And heading off to bless the animals at the zoo with her presence.

8. Her own mural

The best part of these pics is that we now get to add locations to our bucket list.

8. Khao San Road

Literall watching Selena head off to all of these places is giving me so much wanderlust.

9. Phi Phi Islands

Her trip to Thailand looks like the best ever and now I want to go take a vacay at a tropical get away.

10. On a Tuk Tuk

This is the best look above all and now I want to hop on a tuk tuk and take a ride!

11. Sunset Station

Nothing more divine than Selena in her Dreaming of You outfit.

12. Aruba

Selena visiting the Caribbean?! Hope the account takes her back to Puerto Rico.

13. Multnoham Falls

Selena literally living our best lives beyond the grave is everything.

14. Avatar Land

James Cameron would be so lucky to include the Latina icon in his wonderfully made up land.

15. Palace of Fine Arts

Selena being her most real Barbie self outside of the palace of fine arts is everything .

16. Coca Cola classic!!

And look at her chilling next to her favorite beverage of choice.

17. Las Vegas!

Seeing the diva showing off a totally classic outfit on the strip will give you major going out vibes. Bidi bidi bom bom.

18. The Full House house

Selena rocking her fullest self at the Full House house will give you all kinds of nostalgia for forever.

19. Her favorite place in all of the land!

Selena went to visit her favorite state in the country: Texas for Halloween and got dressed up as the true reina that she is.

20. The gum wall

Wearing one of her iconic outfits, Selena suited up to go to the gum wall.

Bernie Sanders Faces Backlash For Saying That Not ‘Everything Is Bad’ In Castro’s Cuba

Things That Matter

Bernie Sanders Faces Backlash For Saying That Not ‘Everything Is Bad’ In Castro’s Cuba

berniesanders / Instagram

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is once again touting what he sees as the benefits of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. The Vermont senator first made comments praising parts of Castro’s Cuba in a 1985 interview. Now, 15 years later, Sen. Sanders is standing behind his idea that not everything is bad in Cuba in a 60 Minutes interview.

Senator Bernie Sanders is facing backlash from critics after his 60 Minutes interview because of his comments on Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

In the 1980s, Sen. Sanders was caught on camera more than once praising parts of the Castro regime in Cuba. He points to the health care and education systems as parts of the government that works for Cuban people. The comments resurfaced in 2019 and caused a backlash against the senator in the Cuban diaspora, whose pains are still fresh from the overthrow of the government.

Now, in a “60 Minutes” interview, the Vermont senator has doubled down on his comments that some of the Cuban government is good.

Anderson Cooper – “What is Democratic Socialism?”

Bernie Sanders – “When Donald Trump was a private businessman in New York, he got $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury housing. That’s called Socialism. What Democratic Socialism is about is saying, ‘Let’s use the federal government to protect the interest of working families.’”

BS – “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But, you know, it’s simply unfair to say that everything is bad. You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?”

AC – “There were a lot of dissidents imprisoned in Cuba.”

BS – “That’s right and we condemn that. Unlike Donald Trump, let’s be clear. I do not think that Kim Jung Un is a good friend. I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine.”

The comments have sparked some backlash on social media from Cubans and Cuban-Americans.

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Senator Marco Rubio, who is Cuban-American, has been a vocal opponent of Socialism. He has used the crisis in Venezuela to solidify his point about the dangers of the government system he believes Sen. Sanders wants to start in the U.S. Yet, Sen. Sanders’s point is not that the Castro regime is good. In the “60 Minutes” interview, the senator made it clear that he does not support the Castro regime and the brutality it caused for the Cuban people. However, he does believe there are things we can learn from the Caribbean island about offering health care and education to the population.

One point of contention with the senator’s comments is that the Cuban people didn’t fight back because of the new programs.

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The Castro regime is known to have oppressed dissidents and political opponents. Speaking out against the authoritarian regime was not safe. People were jailed, killed, and exiled for standing up to Castro’s rise to power. Families fled the island and settled around the world to escape what they saw as a justifiable threat to their lives and sovereignty.

Some people are sharing personal stories of their families’ treatment under the Castro regime.

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The generational trauma created by the Castro regime is still felt today. Some people used Sen. Sanders’s comments as a chance to tell a fuller story of the government some have praised for their social services.

A clip of President Barack Obama speaking on the same social issues in Cuba is also circulating.

President Obama worked tirelessly to reopen relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He was the first sitting president to visit the island when it was announced that diplomatic ties were reopened between the two countries. Part of being able to open those relations was eliminating the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allowed Cuban nationals to stay in the U.S. after migrating. This allowed Cubans to be deported back to Cuba, something that hadn’t happened since Cubans first started to flee their homeland. In response, Cubans illegally in the U.S. have been subjected to ICE raids and detention for the first time because of President Donald Trump’s increasing escalation against the immigrant community.

There is a lot of concern from Democratic supporters that the comment could cost the party Florida in the general election if Sen. Sanders is nominated.

Credit: @IvanBrandon / Twitter

The Cuban and Cuban-American population in Florida is a key demographic to win the state in general elections. His comments cherry-picking what is and is not good about the Cuban government is having a resonating effect in Florida. Cuban Democrats and Republicans in the state are untied in rebuking the senator’s comments as glossing over the true victimization and terror millions faced.

READ: Bernie Sanders Praises Fidel Castro And His Revolution In Cuba During Resurfaced Interview From 1985