Forgive me for the remark on the title above, but yes, it's 2008 and the Cuban government has just now lifted a restriction on cell phone usage to its citizens. Before last Friday, when new President Raul Castro announced the change, only foreigners and government employees were allowed the use of mobile phones.

Without touching on the politics behind the story, it's an amazing fact how Cuba had lagged so behind - measured in years, if not decades - on adopting technologies that for so many of us have become things of need or plain assumption on a day to day basis. Along with this change, Cubans will be allowed to buy computers and DVD players next month, those were also restricted items under the previous Castro regime. Now the only problem with all these great news, is that Cubans will have to pay "hard currency" for the items, this is because the normal currency used in the island is worth nearly nothing in global terms. The population then has to rely on cash remittances sent by relatives living abroad or the money tourists leave on the island for acquiring these very expensive services.