Cuba has some of the slowest Internet access in the world because it has had to rely on satellite and international phone line communication. It’s also hard to get, with a limited number of Internet cafes and virtually no private lines for regular people.
The new fiber optic cable stretches 1,000 miles from Venezuela and will make logging on 3,000 times faster. The Cuban government crowed that this line breaches the U.S. embargo. Florida is much closer to Cuba that Venezuela but no line can be built there under current law. Once again U.S. investors have missed out on an opportunity thanks to a short-sighted embargo that has done nothing to change Cuba’s government.
Instead, the Cubans can say thanks to the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Communities of our America. This group was started at the suggestion of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and includes Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Equador, Nicaragua, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The group is also developing its own regional currency, the SUCRE, which is already being used to a limited extent as a virtual currency to replace the dollar in international transactions. The plan is to eventually make it a hard currency to reduce American economic dominance in the region.