Google still blocked, despite company officials' visit: Cuba

Jul 02, 2014
Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt speaks in Hong Kong on November 4, 2013

Much of Google remains off limits to Internet users in Cuba, despite a recent visit here by top executives from the popular site, state-run media complained on Wednesday.

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt paid a two-day visit to the Americas' only communist-run country last week along with three other officials from the company, which has been accused by Havana of "scandalously" blocking some of its services.

The paper said that the viral excitement that the visit generated had less to do with the executives than the fact that Cuba was "one of the few nations in the world where a good part of the country can't get access to the Internet giant."

This was because Cuba is "subject to the unjust laws of the US blockade," it said.

Google Analytics and Google Chrome are unavailable, the paper wrote, adding that "Cubans cannot freely download the millions of existing apps in the Android operating system's official store."

US-based Schmidt confirmed the trip in a Google+ posting Sunday, saying US sanctions on Cuba defied reason.

"Cuba will have to open its political and business economy, and the US will have to overcome our history and open the embargo. Both countries have to do something that is hard to do politically, but it will be worth it," Schmidt argued.

Cuban independent online newspaper "14yMedio," which has been intermittently blocked in Cuba and is run by dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, described the visit as one meant to "promote the virtues of a free and open Internet."

An underwater cable connecting Cuba to Venezuela opened possibilities to upgrade Internet service starting in 2013.

However, Cuban authorities said financial limitations stopped them from increasing access, and continued with their policy of prioritizing use for universities, research institutes and state entities.

Explore further: Google executives visit Cuba to promote free Internet

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Report: Cuba using undersea fiber-optic cable

Jan 21, 2013

Cuba apparently has finally switched on the first undersea fiber-optic cable linking it to the outside world nearly two years after its arrival, according to analysis by a company that monitors global Internet use.

Recommended for you

Barclays to allow payments by using Twitter handles

3 hours ago

The next chapter in banks moving into the digital age is a stretch beyond reminding customers over phone lines that they can also bank online. Barclays has launched Twitter payments through Pingit.

QR codes engineered into cybersecurity protection

7 hours ago

QR, or Quick Response, codes – those commonly black and white boxes that people scan with a smartphone to learn more about something – have been used to convey information about everything from cereals ...

Australian laws on storing phone, Internet records to change

15 hours ago

(AP)—A parliamentary committee on Friday recommended a major rewrite of draft laws that would force Australian telcos and Internet providers to store customers' personal data for the convenience of law enforcement agencies. ...

User comments : 0

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.