Cuba and US Talk Telecommunications

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HAVANA TIMES — Government representatives of Cuba and the United States met today in Havana to discuss telecommunications issues as part of the diplomatic thaw between the two countries, reported dpa news.

A delegation led by US Deputy Assistant Secretary and Coordinator for International Communications Policy, Daniel Sepulveda, was received in Havana by Cuban Vice Minister of Communications, Jorge Luis Perdomo, according to a statement from the Cuban authorities.

The group of visitors, also comprising officials from the US Departments of State and Commerce, also visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Havana.

The representatives discussed “the scope of the new US regulations,” to facilitate trade and commerce between the two countries in the field of telecommunications.

The US delegation arrived to the island on Tuesday and leaves on Thursday.

Cuba and the United States had announced in February the visit of the delegation headed by Sepúlveda as part of several bilateral technical meetings agreed under the diplomatic rapprochement made public in mid-December.

Under the political dialogue, Washington and Havana agreed to hold technical meetings on issues such as telecommunications, aviation and bilateral cooperation.

As part of various measures to ease the US embargo imposed on Cuba since the early 60s, Obama announced in December the authorization for US telecommunications companies to operate in Cuba.

After weeks of negotiations, the IDT telephone company based in New Jersey and the Cuban state monopoly ETECSA announced earlier this month the restoration of direct telephone connection between the two countries, which was done hitherto only through third countries.

3 thoughts on “Cuba and US Talk Telecommunications

  • ETECSA is described as “the Cuban state monopoly” telecom company. And yet, a 27% interest in ETECSA is owned by the private investment firm RAFIN SA. That company is owned by Raul and Fidel Castro.

    And who owns the other 73% of ETECSA? A handful of other holding companies such as Telefónica Antillana S.A with 51%, Universal Trade & Management Corporation S,A (Utisa) with 11%, Banco Financiero Internacional with 6.15%, Negocios en Telecomunicaciones with 3.8% and Banco Internacional de Comercio with 0.9%.

    Can you guess who owns those companies? Raul & Fidel.

    So you see, in Cuba “state owned” means Castro owned.

  • Trojan horse?

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