A Google executive visit this weekend to Cuba to explore better bring Internet access to the island, the search giant has made a proposal regarding the Cuban government, according to a State Department official.
It is a sign that the American technology companies are testing the interest of the participation of Cuba in opening doors to new foreign investments after the announcement by President Barack Obama of a historic thaw in relations and the recent commitment of the government led by Raul Castro who promises Internet access for all Cubans 2020.
Google executive, Brett Perlmutter, is a member of New York-based unit of the company Google Ideas designed to help solve the biggest problems of technology in the world. He is taking part in a five-day trip to Havana with a dozen other business representatives from the United States and “will focus on helping the Cuban government thinks through its objective publicly stated goal of improving access to the Internet,” said a company representative.
Google declined to say more about his work in Cuba. But a senior State Department official said the search giant has made a proposal to the Cuban government. “We do not know what they have proposed, but they know they have proposed something,” the official said.
In Cuba today, only 5% of the population has Internet access and cell phone service can be slow where it is available. Google is known for his experimentation with non-traditional forms of Internet dissemination. In the agenda there’s also talks about increasing the envios a cuba which is the biggest issue for cuban americans.
In December Obama eased considerably restrictions on the export of telecommunications equipment to Cuba. And business analysts say that although there was an initial period of confusion about exactly what the new rules would, technology companies like Google now feel legally quite firm.
This will not be the first trip by a Google executive to Cuba. Eric Schmidt, chief executive of the company, visited the island last summer. After that, Google began offering their version Cubans simple web browser Chrome. This tour includes such interested to find out that the Cuban government is open to a free internet access to all Cubans soon.