Youtubers, the eyes of Cuba

Youtubers, the eyes of CubaHAVANA, May 4th  (Elmundo) Anita With Swing! She searched store by store in Havana to buy a gift to her mother with only two dollars. Ailens World explained to his followers the meaning of his tattoos, so fashionable on the island.

Pedrito Paketero toured the capital to ask the Cubans which team they support in the World Cup in Russia. Camallerys Vlogs discovered for its followers the secrets of how the network works in Cuba, one of the most picturesque on the planet.

Ana Vigo (17 years old), Ailén Torres (25), Pedro Veitia (23) and Frank Camallerys (19) are four Cuban youtubers, idolized by their followers on the island and spearhead of a generation that has landed with strength and talent in the new television, so different from the revolutionary public channels controlled by the Miguel Díaz-Canel government.

A bath of Cuban daily life and realism outside politics in a country where the Internet is still limited and controlled by the central power and where uploading or downloading a video in wifis areas is a true exercise of Caribbean patience. “I am youtuber because I have the need to express myself, not because it is fashionable,” says Veitia, a student of Industrial Engineering.

“We have been isolated for many years, nobody knew about us until we discovered the Internet and YouTube, a free platform where we can express ourselves and let others know how we live,” he adds.

“Youtube disconnects me from my problems,” confirms Torres, an artisan on her own in the business her family has in San José de las Lajas. “With my videos I want to give other minutes of smiles, but over time that this could not be just a hobby because there are people who identify with you,” confesses the young woman, specialist in tutorials on trends, fashion and makeup and no doubt in pointing out that it avoids religious or political issues.

The main objective of Ana Vigo, of Galician blood, is to describe “what I live every day and what this country hides behind the walls of the blockade”, she adds by placing quotation marks to the word and doing it with a lot of swing, that Cuban way of facing to the life.

“I want to document the Cuba of a Cuban on foot, both for those who are off the island and for foreigners, with incredible places and cultures,” sums up Camallerys, a student of Social Communication who dreams of setting up a travel agency. even a souvenir shop with its own brand.

The Cuban Internet is different from the rest of the planet, as in so many other things. The four million mobile phones can not access social networks or the Net as in the rest of the countries and in households the restriction is for almost all, except the privileged of the State. A pilot program moves at a snail’s pace.

Scarce Internet access
Official statistics say that four of the 11 million Cubans have access to the Internet, despite being conditioned to do so through the 500 Wi-Fi points raised in plazas and parks, at the price of one dollar per hour. Of course, that if they find the cards, which are acquired and disappeared to sell later on the black market at double its value. A very expensive price for a country with salaries that hardly exceed $ 25 per month.

“These people in the store are getting more expensive each day, a couple of Adidas cost 90 dollars, which is equivalent to 4 or 5 months of salary, but a respected Youtuber must wear a good pair of shoes”, he recreates with a lot of humor for EL MUNDO Pedrito el Paketero, whose Youtube channel has reached 823 subscribers. The record is held by Camallerys Vlogs, with 12,319.

Some figures very difficult to reach, because most of his followers enjoy the Cuban youtubers through the famous package, a mass phenomenon on the island. In fact, Pedro Veiga himself is one of the vendors of this package, a memory that contains series, films, Spanish and English League games, TV shows and youtubers videos, which pay for their contents to appear in the Download menu.

Each user updates their favorite content weekly, downloading it from the memory that the messengers of the package lend them for a certain time.

“I only tell the truth, what we live here, with that I do not offend anyone,” says Ana Vigo, who in a video describes a state camper (resort) as one of the best moments of her life and in another how beautiful Cubans get with only two dollars. The young lady is a specialist in blocking on her Facebook fans outside the island, who write to inform her of her upcoming trip to Cuba.

Ailén also has to contain his world of enthusiastic followers. “They send me pictures and they ask me when I’m going to get a divorce”, both from inside and outside the island.

“Sure, one puts limits,” he says very sure.