Val Demings introduces bill to push internet freedom in Cuba
Can Val Demings bring Wi-Fi to Cuba?

internet-cuba
The bill would promote grants for technologies that open the internet in countries like Cuba that have censorship under authoritarian regimes.

Democratic Rep. Val Demings has introduced a bill to use more American dollars to promote internet access in authoritarian countries trying to censor the internet like Cuba and Venezuela.

Demings, the Orlando Congresswoman running for Senate against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, said Friday she is joining Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Bill Keating in introducing the “Internet Freedom Rapid Response Act of 2022.” The measure (HR 8075) would make more money available to help bolster internet availability in countries under censorship.

The program would be run through the Open Technology Fund in the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. That program provides grants for proven and emerging technology that allows people to bypass internet blocks in closed countries, especially during crackdowns.

For more than a year since political crackdowns erupted anew in Cuba, lawmakers of both parties including Demings and Rubio have pushed for new efforts to disrupt the Cuban regime’s lockdown on outside information by surreptitiously getting internet service to the island.

“The technology funded under this initiative allows users cost-free access to social media and other messaging services, even during government-controlled internet blackouts,” Demings said in a news release.

“This is a concrete response against censorship technology which is being sold by Russia and the Chinese Communist Party to other autocrats. From Cuba to Venezuela, Belarus to Russia, this initiative will support ordinary people in their struggle for freedom.”

Demings serves on the House Intelligence Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She is Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Keating is Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber.

Demings previously identified up to $2.5 million per year in unallocated appropriation for “surges” to internet freedom programs, and called on the Joe Biden administration to immediately implement grants to fund internet access programs in Cuba.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


5 comments

  • Impeach Biden

    June 24, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    Hey Demings? How about doing something that benefits us United States citizens?

  • WINSTON JOHNSON

    June 26, 2022 at 10:41 am

    guess u die hard Republicans,Marco do nothing Rubio the only way to change Cuba is more internal strife and a full scale {attack drones} and a arms attack on the prisons as well as the military bases killing as many COMMIES AS POSSIBLE! PS. TRUMP blew his chance in Venezuela!

    • Curt

      June 26, 2022 at 1:07 pm

      This is a perfect example of an ignorant Floriduhian.

  • Curt

    June 26, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    This is just a contest between the 2 candidates on who can please the hardline Miami gusanos more. Val Demings can hang it up. The far right would never vote for a Democrat regardless on what they try and promise for Cuba. This is Florida politics at its most moronic, and unique to only Florida.

  • Just a comment

    July 3, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    What part of no and what part do you need permission

Comments are closed.


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