Google is opening a cutting-edge online technology center at the studio of one of Cuba’s most famous
artists, offering free Internet at speeds nearly 70 times faster than those now available to the Cuban
President Obama says Google’s efforts in Cuba are part of a wider plan to improve access to the Internet
across the island.
The US technology giant has built a studio equipped with dozens of laptops, cellphones and virtual-
reality goggles at the complex run by Alexis Leiva Machado, a sculptor known as Kcho. President Barack
Obama said Sunday that Google was also launching a broader effort to improve Cubans’ Internet access
across the island. Neither he nor the company gave details.
Google’s head of Cuba operations, Brett Perlmutter, said the company was optimistic that the
Google+Kcho.Mor studio would be part of a broader cooperative effort to bring Internet access to the
“We want to show the world what happens when you combine Cuban creative energy with technology
that’s first in class,” he said. The studio will be open five days a week, from 7 am to midnight, for about
40 people at a time, Kcho said.
The project has limited reach but enormous symbolic importance in a country that has long maintained
strict control of Internet access, which some Cuban officials sees as a potential national security threat.
Officials have described said the Internet as a potential tool for the United States to exert influence over
the island’s culture and politics.