#mitúWORLD

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 1.46.48 PM
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.

giphy-4
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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 2.00.02 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 2.29.53 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 1.49.15 PM
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
Credit: Vox / YouTube

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 3.23.34 PM
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

Did you think this story was interesting? Share the story with your friends and keep coming back for more stories like this.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Will Smith And Aunt Viv Finally Confronted Their Decades-Long ‘Fresh Prince’ Rift —”It’s hard enough being a dark-skinned black woman”

Fierce

Will Smith And Aunt Viv Finally Confronted Their Decades-Long ‘Fresh Prince’ Rift —”It’s hard enough being a dark-skinned black woman”

NBC

The Tale of Aunt Viv was probably every millennial’s first-ever encounter with a celebrity feud played out on screen. Vivian Banks was the beloved maternal aunt of Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince” and captivated the hearts of young viewers for her no-nonsense and nurturing character. She was astute, career-driven, and had some incredible vocal chops. Or at least, that’s how she was when actress Janet Hubert portrayed her during the first two seasons. Then actress Daphne Maxwell Reid took on the role. Suddenly Aunt Viv became quite a bit less fiery and more likely to support her children’s strange decisions. Still lovable, not totally recognizable.

Of course, it didn’t take long for rumors about a set dispute between Hubert and Smith to reveal that the original Aunt Viv had been forced out of the role. The rumors became one of the biggest bits of celebrity chisme in homes and got more attention as the characters made jokes about Hubert. You may remember Will occasionally referring to Hubertin family photos as looking “mannish.”

Fortunately, it looks like Will Smith and his former co-star Janet Hubert are finally having a heart-to-heart about their old brawl.

NBC

In an emotional episode of The Red Table Talk, Will Smith sat down with Janet Hubert ahead of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast reunion to lay it all out there. Jumping into Jada-mode, Smith sat down with Hubert at the Red Table to discuss why campaigned against Aunt Viv almost thirty years ago.

You might remember Smith claimed in a radio interview soon after Hubert was pushed out from the show that he could “say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air show, because I know she is going to dog me in the press… She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing. She’s mad now, but she’s been mad all along. She said once, ‘I’ve been in the business for 10 years, and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.’ No matter what, to her, I’m just the Anti-Christ.”

In response, Hubert hit back saying “He probably is responsible for my firing… He has a lot of clout. It’s too bad that it’s a Black-on-Black attack. I have tried not to name names. I have more class than that. I wish Will would tell the truth. If you’re going to talk, tell the truth. He has gotten me fired from the show, and now he’s trying to get my career snatched away from me.”

Of course, neither of their interviews told the whole story. During the reunion special, Hubert revealed that she found herself stuck in an abusive relationship during the third season and pregnant. “I was no longer laughing, smiling, joking because there were things that were going on that nobody knew about. The cast had no idea what was going on.”

Hubert revealed that during the third season of the show she was edged out with a deal she could not accept. “They said you’ve got two months and two weeks of work, and you cannot work anywhere else,” she revealed. “That meant my salary was cut. I had a new baby and a husband who was out of work. So I said no. I did not accept their offer. I was never fired. So the misconception was always put out there. I was trapped. What could I do? So they said, ‘Okay, we’re going to recast your role.’ And I said, what could I say? I was hurt deeply.”

In a separate interview, Smith admitted he “wasn’t sensitive, I wasn’t perceptive… Now that I’ve had three kids, I’ve learned some things I did not know at the time and I would do things very differently. I can see where I made the set very difficult for Janet.”

Speaking on the Red Table Talk, Hubert told Smith how her life fell apart after show.

“When I left the show, I had this new baby and no one—family disowned me, Hollywood disowned me. My family said you’ve ruined our name,” she explained. “And I wasn’t unprofessional on the set. I just stopped talking to everybody because I didn’t know who to trust because I had been banished. And they said it was you who banished me. Because you were Will. You were a kid. It was hard.”

“I was 21 years old. Everything was a threat to me,” Smith explained. “I was so driven by fear and jokes and comedy, and all of that.”

In a separate interview for the Red Table Talk, Smith spoke with YouTube’s Dr. Ramani Durvasula to go over clips of his sit-down with Hubert to dive into his behavior and mindset as a rising sitcom star.

Smith explained that the childhood abuse he experienced at the hands of his father caused him to feel a deep sense of insecurity. “On my ‘little boy in me’ level, I needed Mommy to think I was great,” he explained, referring to his desire to have Hubert’s approval. “And then once I realized that she didn’t, my dragon woke up.”

This behavior, Hubert says, destroyed her career. “Words can kill,” Hubert told Smith. “I lost everything. Reputation, everything. Everything. I understand, you were able to move forward but you know those words, calling a black woman difficult in Hollywood is the kiss of death. It’s hard enough being a dark-skinned black woman in this business but I felt it was necessary for us to finally move forward. And I’m sorry that I have blasted you to pieces.”

In the end Smith and Hubert seemed to find strength and love for each other in their reunion. “I am so thankful for all the love being shown and the understanding,” Hubert tweeted Thursday. “Will and team let me participate in whatever I wanted and felt comfortable doing. After 27 years of disconnect, we are all different people. It was great seeing everyone, life is too short!”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Maduro’s Attempts To Deprive Venezuelans Of Oxygen To Coerce Voters Rings Eerily Similar To Trump’s Threat To Withhold COVID Vaccines From New York

Things That Matter

Maduro’s Attempts To Deprive Venezuelans Of Oxygen To Coerce Voters Rings Eerily Similar To Trump’s Threat To Withhold COVID Vaccines From New York

JUAN BARRETO / Getty

It is one of the oldest binding oaths in history: the Hippocratic Oath outlines a physician’s duty to treat the ill to the best of one’s ability and to do no harm.

Still, somehow, 16 members of Cuba’s medical missions to Venezuela say that they were forced to abandon this promise while serving patients. A new report by the New York Times details how these physicians detailed a system of deliberate political manipulation in which Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro Moros used coercion of their services to encourage votes for his Socialist Party.

According to the doctors, various tactics were used to secure votes from patients including the denial of treatment for opposition supporters.

“The Cuban doctors said they were ordered to go door-to-door in impoverished neighborhoods, offering medicine and warning residents that they would be cut off from medical services if they did not vote for Mr. Maduro or his candidates,” writes the New York Times in their latest report about the ongoings in Venezuela. “Many said their superiors directed them to issue the same threats during closed-door consultations with patients seeking treatment for chronic diseases.”

One former Cuban supervisor reported that she and other foreign medical workers were provided with counterfeit identification cards so that they could vote in an election. Another doctor claimed that she was told to give elderly patients “detailed” voting instructions.

“These are the kinds of things you should never do in your life,” the doctor, who spoke to the NYT under the condition of anonymity, stated.

These accounts of manipulation and fraud under Maduro’s legitimate time as president serve as a sort of parallel to the ones Americans face post-2020 election.

Just as Biden supporters have had to combat Trump’s grossly false claims about a “rigged” election, Maduros’ opposition-controlled legislature have had to fight combat claims by Maduro and the results of his undemocratic election.

According to New York Times, “Mr. Maduro’s opponents often accuse Cuba — which has long depended on oil from Venezuela — of propping up his embattled government by sending agents to work with Venezuela’s intelligence agencies, helping its ideological ally crush dissent.”

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the New York Times report are claims that doctors saw medical supplied hoarded until the May election. (Oddly similar to remarks that Trump has made about withholding a COVID-19 vaccine from New York City.) One physician, Dr. Yansnier Arias, claimed that his supervisors expressed a desire to “flood hospitals” with supplies just before the vote was made in order to make voters believe that Mr. Maduro had solved the country’s shortage difficulties.

“There was oxygen, but they didn’t let me use it,” Dr. Arias told New York Times.“We had to leave it for the election.”

According to New York Times, Dr. Arias defected from the Cuban government’s medical program last year and now lives in Chile.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com