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Google visits Cuba to promote open Internet access

Jun 30 2014, 4:04am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Google visits Cuba to promote open Internet access
Heather Kennedy/ Getty Images

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, together with Jared Cohen, Brett Perlmutter and Dan Keyserling of Google Ideas, made a two-day visit to the country.

Top executives from Google visited Cuba to promote an open Internet access, reports the Cuban blog 14ymedio.com.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt together with Jared Cohen, Brett Perlmutter and Dan Keyserling of Google Ideas, made a two-day visit to the country "to promote the virtues of a free and open Internet," the report said.

14ymedio.com founder Yoani Sanchez also confirmed the visit on a blog post in the Huffington Post.

"It was a technological night without technology. No one took out their cellphones to check the web - it's not possible in Cuba - and it didn't occur to anyone to show us the latest doodle, nor to tell us in figures the scale of the company in which they work," writes Sanchez.

14ymedio.com added that the team toured the University of Information Sciences (UCI) on Saturday.

Cuba is one of the most isolated countries in the world. According to Freedom House, only 5 percent of Cubans have access to the Internet. Even worse, Internet access is limited to government offices, tourist hotels, and foreign companies.

 

Similar to North Korea, Cuba filters much of its Internet, blocking sites like 14ymedio.com.

Schmidt expressed his desire to visit Cuba last year during an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Schmidt has also visited North Korea in hopes of convincing the government to loosen up its Internet access. 

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