Cuban asks Obama, Google chief for free Internet

February 22, 2011
Cuban folk star Silvio Rodriguez, pictured in 2010, urged US President Barack Obama and Google CEO Eric Schmidt on Monday to provide free Internet to developing countries.

Cuban folk star Silvio Rodriguez urged US President Barack Obama and Google CEO Eric Schmidt on Monday to provide free Internet to developing countries.

"It's a simple proposal: the world is very unequal, and a lot of pain could be avoided with action that could turn into a worldwide qualitative step forward," Rodriguez said in a blog post at

"I am sure that it is something within reach of privileged minds (and budgets).

"So you owners of the Internet and President Obama: build a satellite network to give free Internet to the developing world," wrote the 63-year-old singer.

Earlier this month, the Americas' only communist government hailed a new undersea fiber optic cable connecting it to socialist ally Venezuela as a blow to the decades-old US embargo.

Despite the revamped access, authorities say Internet use will be limited to "social" purposes and that priority would be given to a limited set of users in universities and other educational institutions.

Deputy Minister of Information Jorge Luis Perdomo insisted earlier this month that "there is no political obstacle" to Internet access in Cuba.

But the opposition and dissidents charge the government is imposing ideological restrictions that aim to maintain authorities' control on sources of information and expression.

Explore further: Conservatives band against Net neutrality

Related Stories

Cuba's cyberwar intensifies

May 22, 2009

Cuban bloggers are fighting a cyberwar with the government to give their own version of reality on the communist island, from hotels and using memory sticks and laptops obtained from abroad.

Cuban post offices OK'd for Internet access

September 9, 2009

(AP) -- Cuba has authorized public Internet access at post offices across the country, though it has yet to apply what would be a landmark loosening of cyberspace rules in a nation where information is strictly controlled.

Miami firm says it will lay first US-Cuba fiber

October 13, 2009

(AP) -- A small Miami-based company says the U.S. government has given it permission to lay the first optical communications fiber from the U.S. to Cuba. That could drastically cut the cost of calling the island nation and ...

Fiber-optic communications cable arrives in Cuba

February 9, 2011

(AP) -- A long-awaited undersea fiber-optic cable linking Cuba with the outside world arrived on the island on Wednesday, promising a bandwidth bonanza for a country saddled with exorbitant telephone rates and among the ...

Recommended for you

Using cellphone data to study the spread of cholera

May 23, 2016

While cholera has hardly changed over the past centuries, the tools used to study it have not ceased to evolve. Using mobile phone records of 150,000 users, an EPFL-led study has shown to what extent human mobility patterns ...

New technique controls autonomous vehicles on a dirt track

May 23, 2016

A Georgia Institute of Technology research team has devised a novel way to help keep a driverless vehicle under control as it maneuvers at the edge of its handling limits. The approach could help make self-driving cars of ...

Solar Impulse plane leaves Oklahoma for Dayton

May 21, 2016

An experimental, solar-powered aircraft took off from Tulsa in the midwestern US state of Oklahoma early Saturday, kicking off the latest phase of its record-breaking quest to circle the globe without consuming a drop of ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Feb 22, 2011

Let's provide free services to foreign nations, most of whom would rather see us dead, but don't provide for our own people and our own services.

Yall can get free internet...right after WE get free internet, you jackass. We, Americans, invented the damn thing, and we don't even have free internet.
5 / 5 (1) Feb 22, 2011
As usual your comments are unsubstantiated opinion.

Most foreign nations would rather see us dead?

Nowhere in the USA is there free internet access available? (have you checked out your local library?)

Americans invented only a small portion of what we call the internet.

If i'm not mistaken (and of course i could be) but did not the internet play a large role in helping egyptians organize, obtain information, and form opinions that directly lead to their recent move towards a truer democracy?

I'm also sure that the request for funds was asked of google, and the request for permission to lift the embargo for these technology issues went to the president.

Then again it's easier to yell and call people asking a question "Jackasses" and not really think about the larger issues.
not rated yet Feb 22, 2011

An informed and communicating Earth is in the best interest of the USA.

Why are you being blindly selfish? Have you ever lived outside the US? Ever even traveled off of N. America? If not, your opinion on these types of geo-social issues is nearly worthless. You lack the proper perspective. ..... or you are just a closed-minded world traveler. Rare, but still annoying.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.