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realclearworld

Google execs visit Cuba, try to convince repressive totalitarian regime that open internet access is good

Google is apparently trying to convince Cuba's repressive totalitarian regime, which has managed to survive and stay in power for decades by keeping the Cuban people enslaved and completely disconnected from the outside world, that allowing open access to the internet and the free flow of information is a good thing for them. Good luck with that.

Via Reuters:

Google execs visit Cuba for first time to promote open Internet

An Internet user surfs the net at a branch of the state-run telecommunications company, ETECSA, in Havana June 4, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

(Reuters) - A team of top Google executives is visiting Cuba to promote open Internet access, according to a dissident blogger who says she met the group in Havana.

The team, led by Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, met with Cuban officials as well as independent people in the technology and digital field, according to a report on the independent news website 14ymedio.com, which was started last month by blogger Yoani Sanchez.

Google is on an official two-day visit "to promote the virtues of a free and open Internet," the report said.

Schmidt appeared to confirm the report when he retweeted a message on Twitter posted by Sanchez about the visit.

Neither Google nor the Cuban government made any official statement about the executives' presence in Cuba.

Cuba does not allow open Internet access. Only 2.6 million out of a population of 11.2 million have Internet access, almost entirely limited to government-run centers, foreign companies and tourist hotels. Most of those who do have access are only been able to explore a limited, state-controlled basket of approved websites.

Continue reading HERE.

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