Cubans will soon get to watch shows about corrupt, conniving politicians and the inadequacies of America’s prison system.
Yes, Netflix has officially launched in Cuba, bringing shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black to the island. The move also means that Netflix now offers its services in every single country in the Americas.
“We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world,” said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings in a statement. “Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members.”
Granted, at the moment very few Cubans will actually be able to access the service. As of 2012, only about 25.6 percent of the population has access to the internet, and many have to rely on access through hotels, internet cafes, embassies and at work. It’s estimated that only 5 percent of the population has unrestricted, private access to the internet, and even then speeds are slow.
We’ve gone from reruns of Kate & Allie on TV Marti to House of Cards. Forget about opening embassies and lifting the travel ban; this more than anything else signals the big thaw between Cuba and the U.S.