Cuba launches its own version of Wikipedia

Hey, don’t laugh.  This could qualify Fidel Castro for Time’s Person of the Year in 2011, or perhaps 2015:

On Tuesday, Cuba launched its own version of Wikipedia, called EcuRed, an online encyclopedia with user contributions. According to the homepage, the site “was born of the desire to create and disseminate knowledge of everyone for everyone; from Cuba and with the world.”

EcuRed, which was created by The Youth Club of Electronics and Computers in Cuba, had 19,631 entries as of yesterday. Users may post or edit articles, pending approval from an administrator, though the site does not say who is in charge of running it. Like electricity in Cuba, the site is also not reliably available. It has been only intermittently accessible since yesterday evening.

Is it just me, or does it look like Fidel had the logo lifted from a recent political campaign here in the US?

That’s not the only unoriginal thing about EcuRed, either.  Its content mainly comprises a rehash of every anti-American meme uttered by Fidel, or for that matter, every anti-Bush attack on Democratic Underground, as the Daily Caller notes.  There’s the Bush-is-a-drug-addict reference, the war-in-Afghanistan-an-excuse-for-world-domination reference, and of course the blockade-of-Cuba-cruel-and-inhuman statement.  In contrast, Barack Obama doesn’t yet have an entry, perhaps a way to keep Cubans from discovering the source of EcuRed’s logo design.

Alexis Levinson points out that Cubans are not likely the target audience anyway, given the paucity of Internet access to the “island of the disconnected,” as dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez wrote last week.  It’s just another propaganda device for a dictatorship that manages to remain behind everyone, with the possible exception of Time.