Havana Protests US Efforts to Increase Internet Access in Cuba

Cuba has officially protested the creation of a US taskforce to improve internet access on the island, arguing it "violates Cuba's sovereignty." The communist-controlled island is one of the most not connected in the world.

The US State Department said that the task force will hold its first meeting on February 7 to encourage "free flow of information in Cuba." The team will study "the challenges and technological opportunities to expand internet access and media independently in Cuba, "the US State Department said.

In a diplomatic memo to the top US diplomat in Havana, Lawrence Gumbiner, Cuba on Wednesday (31/1) filed a" violent protest "against America's desire to publicly violate Cuba's related sovereignty national legislation governing the flow of information. "

The memo declared the attempt to manipulate the internet for political and subversive purposes it is intended to "alter or disrupt the constitutional order" in Cuba. Cuba demanded that America "halt subversive, intervention, and illegal action against Cuba." According to Cuban government data, 40 percent of the island's 11 million inhabitants can use the internet in 2017.

However, in spite of recent government efforts to increase wifi availability, most Cubans have no internet because of costly access, (19659003) US-Cuban relations began to warm under President Barack Obama, when both countries placed ambassadors in 2015 for the first time since 1961. But President Donald Trump has taken up a tougher approach to Cuba since taking office. In his state address on Tuesday, Trump highlighted how his administration had "imposed tough sanctions on communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela." [as/ii]