The United States government has said that it is initiating new efforts to increase Cubans’ access to telecoms and their ability to communicate freely, as part of steps announced earlier this week to change relations between the two countries and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. In a White House press release, the US says that it will authorise ‘the commercial export of certain items that will contribute to the ability of the Cuban people to communicate with people in the United States and the rest of the world’. This will include the commercial sale of certain consumer communications devices, related software, applications, hardware and services, and items for the establishment and update of communications-related systems. In a further step, the US is allowing telecoms providers to establish the necessary mechanisms, including infrastructure, in Cuba to provide commercial telecoms and internet services, which will improve communication between the island and the US.
The US administration concluded that it efforts to chart a new course in its relations with Cuba are aimed at promoting the independence of the island’s people so they do not need to rely on the Cuban state. It added that it will continue to implement programmes aimed at promoting positive change in the country, and will encourage reforms in its high level engagement with Cuban officials.