Cuba Ends Cell Phone Restrictions

Although cellphones maybe be more dangerous than cigarettes, that hasn't stopped Cuba from easing restrictions on their usage. The government announced on Friday that it will allow all Cubans to buy and use mobile telephones for the first tiem ever, a move which comes as the latest step in new President Raul Castro's plan to improve access to consumer goods. Cuba has the lowest rate of cellular telephone use in Latin America and the service has been restricted until now to foreigners or government officials and employees. Cuban telecommunications monopoly ETECSA, a joint venture with Telecom Italia, said it would begin selling the service to the general public within days in hard currency. "ETECSA is able to offer mobile phone service to the public," it said in a statement published in the Communist Party newspaper Granma.

In the streets of Havana, the freeing of cellular phones services came as welcome news to all. "It was an obvious measure. There will have to be more like it to get rid of the thousand and one obstacles that make life bitter in Cuba," said university student Jofre Valdes, 23.

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