"We need it in order to be integrated with the world. We need to be in communication. We have a small bandwidth here. I have access at the office, but we need it more and more for work each day and for life in general, too."
FILE: Vargas State, Venezuela - 22 January 2011
5. Low shot of line of buoys running from beach into sea
6. Mid of representatives from Cuba, Jamaica, France and Venezuela speaking on beach during official laying of fibre optic cable between Venezuela and Cuba
7. Zoom out of fibre optic cable
8. Wide of Ricardo Menendez, Venezuelan Technology Minister, speaking on beach
9. Wide of Venezuelan and Cuban flags, buoys and ship
10. Pull focus from palm tree to Venezuelan and Cuban flags
Havana, Cuba - 10 May 2012
11. Mid of people queuing in street to use internet facilities
12. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Oleynis Rueda, former computer teacher, Vox pop:
"There are all these social websites, Facebook, Twitter, that are part of life for the world's youth. We Cubans are also part of that humanity. We young people are in tune with all that and why not; we should have more contact with others and enter the world of today and not fall behind."
CUBAVISION - NO ACCESS CUBA
Havana, Cuba - 3 February 2012
13. Mid of Fidel Castro, Cuban leader, at conference
14. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Fidel Castro, Former Cuban leader:
++VARIOUS SHOT CHANGES DURING SOUNDBITE++
"The internet is a revolutionary instrument because it allows us to receive and transmit in both directions. Therefore, it is something we should know how to use."
CUBAVISION - NO ACCESS CUBA
FILE: Siboney Beach, Cuba - 9 February 2011
15. STILL map, showing internet cable path between Cuba and Venezuela
16. Various of ceremony marking arrival of cable on Cuban coast
Despite the arrival of a fibre optic cable to boost internet connectivity in Cuba, going online is still proving to be problematic on the island.
Logging onto a website can sometimes take up to 15 minutes.
Government officials have said that hospitals, universities and other organisations would be prioritised for faster internet connectivity.
But a dozen public employees interviewed by The Associated Press said they had seen no noticeable improvement in internet speeds.
If anything, they say, downloading material is taking even longer.
"We need it in order to be integrated with the world. We need to be in communication. We have a small bandwidth here. I have access at the office, but we need it more and more for work each day and for life in general, too," said Monica Rojas, a 23-year-old office worker.
Strung from Venezuela with the help of key ally, President Hugo Chavez, the fibre optic cable was supposed to come online last July.
It was all sunshine, smiles and celebratory speeches as officials launched the undersea wire they promised would finally end Cuba's internet isolation and boost connectivity 3,000-fold.
More than a year after the February 2011 ceremony on Siboney Beach in eastern Cuba, the government doesn't talk about the cable anymore.
The Venezuelan arm of Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent, which was contracted to lay the cable, referred questions to the Caracas-based Cuban-Venezuelan joint venture Telecomunicaciones Gran Caribe, where officials did not follow through on repeated promises to respond.
People talk quietly about embezzlement torpedoing the project and the arrest of more than a half-dozen senior telecom officials.
Nobody has explained exactly what happened to the 70 (m) million US dollar project.
Many state office workers, such as doctors, only have access to email and a domestic intranet.
Moreover, institutions recently began cracking down on the few who do have full internet access, ordering them not to use sites like Facebook.
"There are all these social pages, Facebook, Twitter, that are part of life for the world's youth. We Cubans are also part of that humanity. We young people are in tune with all that and why not; we should have more contact with others and enter the world of today and not fall behind," said Oleynis Rueda, a former computer teacher.
The lack of transparency is not unusual for Cuba, where all media is state-run and tightly controlled, but it flies in the face of Fidel Castro's own enthusiastic words about the cable and the transformational power of the internet.
"The internet is a revolutionary instrument because it allows us to receive and transmit in both directions," said Castro in a rare television appearance last February.
"Therefore, it is something we should know how to use," he added.
While some hold out hope that faster internet has merely been delayed, others interpret the government's long silence as a sign Cuba's broadband dreams will be the latest grand pronouncement to end in disappointment.
According to government statistics, 16 per cent of islanders were online in some capacity in 2011, mostly through work or school, and often just to the internet.
The National Statistics Office said last year that just 2.9 per cent reported having direct internet access, though outside experts estimate the real figure is likely 5 to 10 per cent accounting for black market sales of dial-up minutes.
Some speculate that the internet-fuelled Arab Spring revolts, which began months before the cable's arrival in Cuba, could have altered the government's plan or at least made officials rethink the wisdom of making it widely available.