HAVANA (CBSMiami) – What most Americans take for granted, Cubans are just now getting a taste of – the World Wide Web.READ MORE: Florida Wildlife Officials Eye Shark Encounters
One Cuban woman told CBS4 anchor Rick Folbaum she goes online for many of the same reasons Americans do, such as accessing WhatsApp or Facebook.
As a condition for normalizing relations, the Cuban government has to install Wi-Fi hubs. Cubans can now pay $2 for an hour worth of surfing.
While $2 might not sound like a lot, the amount is equivalent to about 16 percent of the average Cubans’ monthly salary.
According to Folbaum, many Cubans have picked up side jobs to pay for internet access.READ MORE: ‘Your Heart Shakes, Your Heart Drops’: Crisis In Israel Hitting Very Close To Home For Some In South Florida
The influx of tourists to Cuba has given them the opportunity to work as tour guides or work in hotels and restaurants. So instead of using the Cuban government’s money, they are making money on the side to enjoy the luxury of online use.
Price aside, for many, this gives them their first chance to catch a glimpse at the world. They suddenly have access to news not fed to them by the state run media.
For others, it’s a chance to connect with loved ones who have left.
One man told Folbaum it has been six or seven years since he last saw his brother. But he said he is hopeful that the change in relations means he will once again see his family.
CBS4’s Rick Folbaum is in Cuba and will also be covering the ceremony on Friday.MORE NEWS: Miami Police Officer Ashley Hunter Accused Of DUI Following Crash
Click here for more on Cuba.