Google Executives Visit Cuba For Promoting Open Internet

A team of top Google executives visited Cuba to promote open Internet access. This team led by Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt had a meeting with Cuban officials as well as independent people in the technology and digital field.

Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt

According to a report on the independent news website 14ymedio.com, Google is on an official two-day visit “to promote the virtues of a free and open Internet.” The website was started last month by blogger Yoani Sanchez. Sanchez said Schmidt was accompanied by Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas, as well as two other staff. Sanchez started Cuba’s first independent online newspaper in May but the site has been repeatedly blocked in Cuba.

Google’s Executive Chairman appeared to confirm the report when he retweeted a message on Twitter posted by Sanchez. However, no official statement about presence of the executives in Cuba was made by Google or the Cuban government.

Cuba does not allow open Internet access and only 2.6 million out of a population of 11.2 million have Internet access, almost entirely limited to government-run centers, foreign companies, and tourist hotels.

According to its website, Google Ideas describes itself as “a think/do tank that explores how technology can enable people to confront threats in the face of conflict, instability or repression.”

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