Cuba wants more Internet access while keeping state control
Washington (AFP) - Cuba wants to boost public Internet access while
keeping the Communist government's control over it, a senior US official
close to talks with Havana on technology said Monday.
"They are looking for mechanisms by which, in the first instance, they
can expand connectivity while at the same time retaining their mechanism
for market management, which is obviously vastly different than ours,"
said the State Department source.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, questioned whether
Cuba can meet United Nations goals of having 60 percent of the
population of 11 million online, and having Internet service in 50
percent of homes by 2020 -- without allowing rival providers to enter
the small market.
Private Internet connections in Cuba are strictly regulated by the
Americas' lone one-party, Communist-ruled state. Only 3.4 percent of the
population can connect from home, according to UN data.
Cuba "would not be the only market in the world with a single provider,"
the source noted.
Last week, a US delegation traveled to Cuba to follow up on
re-establishing normal telecommunications links as part of the two
countries' bid to normalize relations.
The team was led by Daniel Sepulveda, deputy assistant secretary of
state and coordinator for international communications and information
A "preliminary" round of US-Cuban talks devoted to human rights will
help set a format for future discussions on the issue, the State
The encounter, to be held in Washington on Tuesday, would be the latest
in a series aimed at normalizing ties between the two Cold War-era
The talks have slowly progressed since US President Barack Obama and
Cuba's President Raul Castro surprised the world by announcing on
December 17 they were working toward restoring relations severed for
more than 50 years.
Source: Cuba wants more Internet access while keeping state control -
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