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Rubio Talks More About Promoting Democracy with the Internet

Apr 12, 2012 | Blog

Senator Rubio was on Washington al Mundo’s radio show talking more about how access to the Internet empowers individuals and can be used to help promote democracy.

Washington al Mundo’s Mauricio Claver-Carone: “You mentioned social media and technology. Recently you spoke at a Google-Heritage Foundation conference on social media and technology to support dissidents and pro-democracy movements in Cuba, in particular. What impact has, in your eyes, what do you think that social media and technology, what impact has it had in regards to democracy promotion worldwide?”
Senator Marco Rubio: “Well it’s the power of the individual. When individuals are empowered to speak their minds and to organize each other and to communicate with one another and to debate ideas and spread ideas among one another, that translates to societal and political change.  

“So you’ve seen the impact that it’s had, for example, in the Middle East and the so called Arab Spring. And so why do regimes like China and others block access to the Internet? Because that kind of independent empowerment is a threat to centralized control of government. And obviously why is there no Internet at all in Cuba, except for the very elite in the government. It’s because they can’t survive. You know as silly as it may sound when you first hear it, the Cuban regime would not be able to survive if the people of Cuba had unfettered access to Facebook, Twitter, and the Internet. They wouldn’t. They would not be able to survive that because it would all come crumbling down pretty quickly. That’s why in Cuba, forget about access to the Internet, there is no Internet, unless you’re a tourist at a hotel or a high-ranking government official. Your access to the Internet is severely limited.”