Google offers Cubans free computer and internet use

Apr 7, 2016 Google recently opened a new technology center in west Havana with the aim of providing Cubans with free and high speed Internet connection.

Located at the studio of Alexis ‘K’cho’ Leyva, the center is stocked with 20 Chrome books along with 100 Google Cardboard virtual reality visors and two cameras capable of transmitting video from a YouTube channel.


The center also has a capacity to contain 40 persons and is open 5 days a week.

Commenting on the initiative, Dayron Manresa said he hopes the service will be spread throughout the country.

“I wish this experience weren’t just here but throughout the country so that it’s not just two or three people enjoying it but that someday, we can wake up and have it as a common occurrence that it would be normal to connect, search and find out about things as it is in other country.”

Although there are public Wi-Fi areas in the country, however none of them comes with the latest technology and speed offered at Google’s center.


Another Cuban citizen Yailin Fuentes said internet accessibility was particularly important for children and young people.

“Well, I think this is very good for all the young people. You can see all the enthusiasm here. And it’s good for children too because, in this way, they increase their knowledge. It’s the best thing that has happened and we need it to continue increasing.”


Cuban artist and co-creator of the center, Kcho said:

“It has been complicated because they (Google) have lots of traps. This country has been able to develop despite these traps. They (Google) thought the traps didn’t exist and the traps are real. They’re traps because, well, in the rest of the world, you pick up a telephone, you get on a computer, and there are dozens of supports, of applications, of things with which Google moves the world but here in Cuba they can’t be used; it’s impossible because of the blockade (embargo). For them to be here, many of these things had to be unblocked so they would be viable to use in this space. It’s the first step.”

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