Cubans Ignore Static on Illegal TV

Even committed commies crave US satellite shows despite Castro ban
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2007 7:54 AM CDT
A woman prepares a bouquet of sunflowers as she watches a preview of an interview of Cuba's President Fidel Castro on TV in Havana, Tuesday, June 5, 2007. Cuban official television will air Tuesday night...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Cubans are turning to black-market satellite TV to watch soap operas, US news and music videos, and even the Chicago White Sox—in defiance of a national ban on the programs, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "If there is censorship, there is business," said one  provider who faces up to 5 years in prison if caught.

Loyal citizens only get four state-run channels, but 38% of households are watching shows from a secret network of suppliers of systems like DirecTV for about $7.50 a month. Even party faithful skirt the law: One fan says her neighbor, head of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, tunes in. "All our neighbors know, but no one talks about it," she says.