Censoring of Cuban Websites by the US Revealed

Steve Marshall is an English travel agent. He lives in Spain and sells trips to Europeans who want to go to sunny places, including Cuba. In October, about 80 of his Websites stopped working, thanks to the United States government.

The sites —in English, French and Spanish— had been online since 1998. Some, like www.cuba-hemingway.com, were literary. Others, like www.cuba-havanacity.com, discussed Cuban history and culture. Still others —www.ciaocuba.com and www.bonjourcuba.com— were purely commercial sites aimed at Italian and French tourists.

“I came to work in the morning, and we had no reservations at all,” said Mr. Marshall by phone from the Canary Islands. “We thought it was a technical problem.”

It turned out, though, that Mr. Marshall’s Web sites had been put on a US Treasury Department blacklist and, as a consequence, his American domain name with the server “eNom Inc.,” had been disabled. Mr. Marshall said eNom told him that it had done so after a call from the Treasury Department; the company, based in Bellevue, Wash., says it learned that the sites were on the blacklist through a blog.