Cuban Americans demonstrate in support of anti-Cuban protests in Miami (United States), July 14 | Photo: EFE / EPA / CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH / Gazeta do Povo

Three days after the protests began in Cuba, the country’s mobile internet connection remains cut, but a minority has already recovered data service and some young people have used virtual private network (VPN) platforms to connect.

Until this Wednesday, most Cubans still do not have internet access on their mobile phones, which in practice means almost total blackout, as few households in the country have Wi-Fi. Fi.

In this scenario, some citizens across the country, especially young people, have resorted to VPN platforms – such as Psiphon and Thunder – and other tricks to bypass censorship and gain access to 3G and 4G networks, controlled by the state monopoly of the Cuban Telecommunications Company (Etecsa).

“You have to turn on the data and then the VPN, and put it in the US region. Then put the phone in airplane mode for five seconds and, when you turn it off, it connects,” a woman from Efe told Efe. 26 years old who lives in Havana and managed to access the internet this Wednesday, after two and a half days of disconnection.

Exceptional cases have also been reported of Cubans who have recovered their connection intermittently, without the help of a VPN, but have been unable to access certain applications, such as WhatsApp.

Private and public Wi-Fi have not stopped working in Cuba, but have had intermittent restrictions on WhatsApp.

Mobile internet service was turned off on Sunday after protests against the dictatorship spread across the country amid a severe economic and health crisis and shortages of food, medicine and basic items.

The Internet shutdown has interrupted the routine of some of the country’s workers, as remote working has been adopted by many sectors.

Etecsa did not provide any explanation for the outage. On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez compared the “power cuts” to other difficulties the country is facing. “It is true that there is a lack of data, but there is also a lack of drugs,” said the Chancellor, without explicitly acknowledging the responsibility of the regime.