Executive Briefings

If Government Permits It, Cuba Could Be in For Technology Awakening

Cuba is on the threshold of getting, potentially, a massive technology upgrade, thanks to a U.S. decision to ease economic sanctions. But this tiny island nation needs a lot of work.

Cuba's entry into the modern high-tech era will require improvements to its electrical grid, a buildout and upgrade of its wireless networks and IT workforce training. This will not be easy, and it may not happen swiftly.

Cuba has an educated population craving technology, but it has little income for new tech. The Cuban government wants to trade with the U.S., but is paranoid about the outside world and has limited internet access to 5 percent to 10 percent of the population, at best.

"The government has been very reluctant to have open internet access," said Harley Shaiken, chairman of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. But "there is real hunger for technology," and with the easing of the embargo, the government "will be facing new pressures," he said.

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Cuba's entry into the modern high-tech era will require improvements to its electrical grid, a buildout and upgrade of its wireless networks and IT workforce training. This will not be easy, and it may not happen swiftly.

Cuba has an educated population craving technology, but it has little income for new tech. The Cuban government wants to trade with the U.S., but is paranoid about the outside world and has limited internet access to 5 percent to 10 percent of the population, at best.

"The government has been very reluctant to have open internet access," said Harley Shaiken, chairman of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. But "there is real hunger for technology," and with the easing of the embargo, the government "will be facing new pressures," he said.

Read Full Article