Culture, Economics and Technology in Cuba
April 9-17th, 2016
$3,800, includes a $500 donation to CTN
The historic concurrent announcements by Presidents Obama and Castro on December 17, 2014 that both countries would undertake a new course on the path towards normalized relations has generated a palpable excitement across the board in both countries and in no arena has there been more wonder and speculation than in the one involving technology development and Internet access. The US embargo — in Cuba el bloqueo, “the blockade” — with major technology restrictions, imposed in 1960, is still in place. The telecommunications infrastructure is not substantial. Online access is limited to 25% of the population, mostly to the Cuban Intranet, with only 5% accessing the Internet, and that at high cost and slow speeds.
What are people doing to connect now? How has the new access already changed things, like AirBNB entering the market? The increase in public access points and wifi arenas has received some attention, but what is the commitment to increase infrastructure development, online access, and equitable access look like? How do they plan on making that happen? This tour will focus on these questions and more. This will be a unique opportunity to observe Cuba at a pivotal point in time as the government, NGOs, and its social institutions work together to close their digital divide.