Netflix Is Now Available in Cuba
Cubans will soon get to watch shows about corrupt, conniving politicians and the inadequacies of America's prison system.
Yes, Netflix has officially launched in Cuba, bringing shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black to the island. The move also means that Netflix now offers its services in every single country in the Americas.
"We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world," said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings in a statement. "Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members."
Granted, at the moment very few Cubans will actually be able to access the service. As of 2012, only about 25.6 percent of the population has access to the internet, and many have to rely on access through hotels, internet cafes, embassies and at work. It's estimated that only 5 percent of the population has unrestricted, private access to the internet, and even then speeds are slow.
"We hope that over time Cubans will be able to enjoy Netflix as access to the Internet improves and international credit and debit card companies begin offering a broader service in the country," a Netflix spokesperson told New Times.
Bienvenida Cuba! Netflix is now available pic.twitter.com/rMocX4Bk73
— Netflix US (@netflix) February 9, 2015
Netflix also adds that potentially costumers must have access to international payment methods to pay for the $7.99-a-month service. In return they'll receive access to a similar library offered in the rest of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.
Though, the Obama administration has signaled the widespread, open access to the internet will be a goal as talks between the countries to normalize relations continue. For the Cuban government's part, Deputy Communications Minister Wilfredo González told the state media back in December that he'd like to see open, amplified access to the internet more widespread in the country.
Netflix will become one of the first American commercial internet services in Cuba since January's announcement, however, there's still a long way to go before your average Cuban is binge watching Arrested Development.
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