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03/10/08 - Cuba-L Analysis (Albuquerque) - Cuba and Information Technology - 
2001 [Part 2]

by Nelson P Valdes


[Cuba-L Direct is providing our readers with this unpublished report that
was written seven years ago. The report was prepared for the Ford Foundation
by the Cuba Research & Analysis Group. Despite the 2001 date the basic
concepts and history are accurate and useful. Hopefully, the series will
help frame any discussion on the subject today].

COMPUTER AND TELEPHONE INFRASTRUCTURE: THE UPPER LIMITS OF INTERNET ACCESS

PCs in Cuba

A report by the International Telecommunication Union notes,

"Telephone lines and personal computers are key components for Internet 
access. Both have significant impact on the take-up of Internet in a 
country. Dial-up Internet access requires a telephone line and a personal 
computer (with a modem). These hardware components thus constitute an upper 
limit for Internet access. For example, if 25 percent of households have 
personal computers with modems, then Internet access from households cannot 
exceed 25 percent. Internet policies will not be successful if they do not 
address these fundamental access requirements."[42]

PCs are not a common household resource in the developing world. In the U.S. 
there is one PC for every three persons but in Brazil the ratio becomes 
1:143. In 1991, at the time of the demise of the USSR, Cuba had just 15,000 
PCs for the entire country.[43] As of September 2000 there were 1.8 
computers per 100 inhabitants in Cuba. The number of computers has 
increased, since 1995, on a yearly average by 25,000. Each of these 
computers costs approximately $1,300, a price tag that very few households 
could afford. Over 90% of all new PCs are purchased by the state for social 
use.[44]

Currently within the Cuban educational system there are 39,000 computers 
distributed among 8,868 elementary schools and 1,887 secondary schools.[45] 
In the school year 2000-2001 twenty thousand new computers were added to the 
secondary school system.[46] The proportion of computers to university 
students is 1:12.[47]


Telephones in Cuba

In January 2001 Cuba had 473,031 phone lines, an increase of almost 120,00 
new lines since 1995.[48] This is not a great or dramatic increase for most 
countries, but it has been for  Cuba. According to John Spicer Nichols and 
Alicia Torres,

"The Cuban telephone system had become a hodgepodge of antiquated equipment 
by the 1990s. Analog technology was still in almost all of the domestic 
networks. Of the 20,000 kilometers of phone lines, the vast majority was 
cooper wire and pole mounted. Less than 1000 kilometers of fiber optics were 
in use, mostly connecting swICThes in the Havana area. In 1993 there were 
more than 500,000 access lines in Cuba, 40 percent of them in the Havana 
area, where approximately 20 percent of the population resided. The majority 
of central offices - about 56 percent - still used electro-mechanical 
equipment, 1940s technology from the United States. Another 43 percent used 
step-by-step technology, primarily 1970s East European equipment. Only about 
1 percent used digital technology. The swICThes in a few isolated rural 
areas were still manually operated."[49]

The city of Havana concentrates approximately 45% of the country's phone 
lines. The United Nations estimates that there are 3.4 telephones per 100 
inhabitants in the island.[50] Our estimate shows that in mid 2001 there 
were 23.6 persons per phone line. Telephone density in Havana is 7.4 phones 
per 100 inhabitants. 62% of all installed phone lines in the capital are now 
digital. The remainder are analog, which is not the best instrument for 
Internet or email purposes. Until very recently "most of Cuba's equipment 
[was] obsolete by Western standards." The non-digital lines "[were] served 
by step-by-step central offices."[51] In the city of Havana alone there are 
close to 500 kilometers of phone lines that are between 20 and 30 years 
old.[52]

At present, excepting Haiti, Cuban telecommunications infrastructure lags 
behind Latin America. The availability of phones does not meet the needs of 
the country, but it should be noted that this became an acute problem only 
recently. One study notes "until the economic problems of the early 1990s, 
the Castro government provided rudimentary telecom services to a larger 
share of its population, at a far lower direct cost to the user, than most 
other Latin American countries at a similar level of economic development." 
In fact, "basic telephone and telegraph service reached almost all populated 
areas on the island."[53] As was the case with other social services the 
government subsidized local phone service. Thus, one study notes "in 1994 a 
residential phone cost 6.25 pesos per month for the average household plus a 
one-time installation fee of 100 pesos. Local calls on pay phones cost five 
centavos, the same as in 1959."[54] However, although phone lines reached 
every corner of the country, they were too few for the population size.
Investing in the modernization of computers and telecommunications makes 
economic sense. Access to the world of information is more than a mere 
interest in connectivity; it is a fundamental necessity to attain efficiency 
and to be a participating part of the emerging new world economy. Cuban 
planners have been aware of the strong statistical association between 
investments in telecommunications equipment and economic growth; the problem 
was that the country had no financial resources.[55] With the assistance of 
foreign investors, the Cuban government expects that in 2004 Havana's 
installed lines will be 92% digital.[56] By then the country is expected to 
have 1,064,000 new digital lines.[57] However, the required investment for 
upgrading the telecommunications infrastructure is estimated at $900 million 
to $2.5 billion.[58]

Since 1959 the Cuban government has been committed to developing a 
telecommunications infrastructure that is more evenly distributed than in 
Latin America. In that goal it has succeeded. Dispersion rather than 
concentration has been the national pattern. Telephone infrastructure has 
been provided in regions that historically had been disadvantaged. Such 
access has not depended on capacity to pay.

THE "DOUBLE EDGE SWORD" THESIS AND CUBA'S ICT DELAY

In The Global Diffusion of the Internet the authors accurately state that in 
1998 "Cuba's international connectivity is nearly the lowest in Latin 
America and the Caribbean."[59] The reasons are understandable. It has been 
shown that there is a worldwide digital divide and that less developed 
countries often do not have the financial resources to tap the extraordinary 
developments of the information and telecommunications revolution.

Poverty and the absence of sufficient technical infrastructure hinder 
connectivity and use. Cuba's limited access has to be understood in that 
secular context. Moreover, U.S. policy has sought to hinder Cuba's progress 
in that arena. We have noted that the United States limited Cuban access to 
email and Bitnet before 1994. Thereafter the U.S. government permitted 
inefficient connectivity but always stressed the necessity of using e-mail 
and the Internet in order to subvert the Cuban regime. Those critical of the 
Cuban Internet situation seldom take these conditions into account.

American observers typically project on to the Cuban regime self-serving 
political or ideological reasons as to why the Internet or email has not 
progressed in Cuba as quickly as in highly developed countries. Basically, 
it is asserted that the Cuban government is afraid of the Internet because 
the latter has a "democratizing effect" which could cut short the regime's 
power.

The "democratizing effect" of telecommunications technology was first 
proclaimed by Alvin Toffler in his popular work The Third Wave, a book 
characterized by "grand theory" at a global level that made all-encompassing 
generalizations about historical periods and politics.[60] Others soon 
applied the Toffler thesis to practical and strategic studies. For example, 
Rand Corporation analysts contracted by the U.S. Navy claimed that dictators 
wanted the benefits of Internet connectivity but not the political costs of 
free flow of information. This was termed the "dictator's dilemma" or 
"double-edged sword" of Internet connectivity.[61] A recent study notes, 
"There appears to be an increasingly strong consensus among politicians, 
policy wonks and pundits in the United States that the Internet is an 
irresistible force for democracy that will undermine authoritarian regimes 
around the world."[62] Leading computer journals have propounded the 
thesis.[63]

By the mid-1990s a consensus had emerged that the Internet would in fact be 
a key instrument to destabilize the Cuban government. The one-sided and 
teleological academic assumption that the magic of the Internet would 
influence Cuban users in the direction of market capitalism and 
"democratization" has been discussed elsewhere.[64] Taylor C. Boas writes, 
"In the aftermath of the Cold War, the United States has increasingly sought 
to promote democracy in Cuba by technological means. Since the passage of 
the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, many aspects of international 
telecommunications have been strategically exempted from the U.S. embargo, 
and U.S. policy has attempted to engage the Cuban people through greater 
information flow."[65] The attempt to politicize Internet connectivity in 
order to convert it into a subversive tool of United States policy remains a 
stated policy, one that even the United States military proclaims.[66]

In April 1998 a spokesperson for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee 
made the extraordinary statement that "the debate on Cuba has to be about 
ways to subvert the Castro regime."[67] Six-term Republican Congressman and 
president of IDT Corporation, Jim Courter asserted in early June 2000 that 
"the Internet . has done a lot to bring democratic capitalism to other parts 
of the world. It was instrumental, I think, in bringing down the Berlin 
Wall. It was instrumental in having students protest the policies of East 
Berlin.. CNN, the networks, and the Internet, were instrumental in the 
demise of the old Soviet Union. And we think the same thing should happen in 
Cuba."[68]

Liberal politicians also share this technological determinist premise.[69] 
The U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress sent a seven-member 
delegation to Cuba in 1999 to assess political, economic and social 
conditions. The delegation stated "breakthroughs in the telecommunications 
industry should be explored to increase information links to Cuba. Internet, 
e-mail, cell phones and other state-of-the-art communications slowly are 
bringing information and ideas to the country. It is recommended that the 
U.S. government and Congress consider authorizing U.S. telecommunications 
companies to explore possibilities for establishing more open and diverse 
communications between the United States and Cuba."[70]

Former President Bill Clinton expressed his general agreement when in March 
2000 he stated, "In the new century, liberty will spread by cell phone and 
cable modem."[71]
Such assumptions mechanistically led commentators to posit that in Cuba the 
Internet did not advance with the speed found in other countries because of 
political fears. But such arguments overlook a variety of concrete reasons 
for the delay, among them:
First, until 1991 Cuba had been economically, and technologically integrated 
into the USSR. Until 1991 there was no interest in developing a 
telecommunications system that would be linked with the U.S. and western 
Europe. In fact, at that time there was no WWW as we now know it.

Second, the United States hindered the establishment of an Internet 
connection before 1994 and when it changed its policy the White House and 
Congress defined the Internet as a subversion instrument to destabilize the 
Havana regime; such orientation from the United States had an obvious 
negative impact among policy makers within the island. Thus, things were to 
be done slowly and judiciously.

Third, the demise of the Soviet bloc produced a monumental economic and 
financial crisis within the island. It was necessary to work under 
conditions of a severe shortage of resources. The country spent its meager 
financial resources on food and strategic imports. Internet related hardware 
and software did not have priority. Only when the economic conditions 
improved after 1994 was the drive to incorporate ICT really began.
Fourth, until 1991 computers and telecommunications equipment had been 
purchased at subsidized prices in the former USSR. The technical personnel 
were acquainted with Soviet technology rather than western products. It 
became necessary to invest in infrastructure and to train the human 
resources that would know the new technology. Whether it is Internet, email 
or cellular telephony, all require investments that depend on the capital 
resources the country has. One has to organize networks, train personnel, 
and purchase equipment and software. All these took time to implement and 
complete.

Fifth, Cuba's government like many other governments had to learn about 
numerous problems related to the new technology. As the United Nations has 
recognized, there have been concerns about criminal, security and privacy 
abuse as well as issues of cultural identity involved in debates about 
electronic communications and Internet connectivity.[72]

Sixth, it was necessary to design a national policy on the introduction of 
the new technologies and its implementation.[73] Numerous experiences were 
studied, including the Chinese.[74]

As countries throughout the world attempted to develop policies, strategies 
and programs to address the reality, role and impact of the information 
revolution, the Cubans did likewise. By 1999 Cuba had developed its own 
national strategy, "a different approach" according to Jesús Martínez, one 
of its main architects.[75] The Cuban model envisioned the integration of 
the Internet with all the country's programs of economic development; the 
Internet was to be a fundamental tool to achieve greater levels of 
development. Access was to be given first and foremost to sectors within the 
economy, the research community, in health and education that contributed to 
enhancing the quality of life. Moreover, the Cuban model of access and 
inclusion followed United Nations guidelines that stress social access and 
the need to "provide access to the Internet, especially through community 
access points, for the world's population presently without such access by 
the end of 2004."[76]

When critics note the small number of Internet accounts they point to the 
high cost of individual accounts in the island, with at least an implicit 
assumption that each Cuban should have an account and pay for it.[77] What 
is not understood is that in Cuba, as in many countries, the model of access 
is not individual or home-based for economic reasons.[78] New York 
University information law professor and telecommunications expert Yochai 
Benkler has noted that the objective of policy should be a broad 
distribution of access to knowledge and participation in contributing to it. 
This is understood in social rather than individual terms.[79] A Cuban 
official states, "It is a piped dream to think that we could have Internet 
in every home here. In fact that is not the case anywhere in the world. 
Rather, you find Internet in the homes of the wealthy. Many people even in 
the United States do not have personal connection to the Internet. Granted, 
the tendency in those [developed] countries is to greatly develop the 
networks. But the possibility of people having Internet within their homes 
is a piped dream for Cuba, where, by the way, it would have to be access for 
11 million Cubans because we are not going to provide home-based Internet to 
just 500 thousand Cubans."[80]

At the time that Cuba became fully connected to the Internet in October 
1996, there was a national policy on who should use the networks but the 
integration of national economic, social, economic and cultural programs 
with the information found in the Internet was not being addressed. At a 
seminar for high government officials on June 18, 1996 the main point made 
was that the Internet could be used to let people abroad know the reality of 
the country.[81]

Within a matter of months huge bottlenecks were created and user demand 
particularly from government institutions was greater than the capacity of 
the lines. One newspaper reported, "Cuba's Internet network is saturated, 
and is about to collapse." [82] The 64,000 bps lines, despite the small 
number of accounts, were insufficient. The official recognition of the need 
for digital lines, more ports and faster servers increased. Such pressure 
helped lead to the rapid modernization of telecommunications. Despite the 
shortage of foreign exchange, precious dollars were invested. Digital lines 
made up 18% of the total by 1998. This became 40% in 1999, and then 52% by 
2000.[83]

As the number of users climbed and connectivity improved a national policy 
on the information and telecommunications revolution was elaborated. 
Awareness increased through the use of the Internet and by learning from the 
experience of other countries.

The very future of the country's economic and social development in relation 
to the Internet and its potential use was outlined.[84] Internet was now 
considered a basic and essential component in promoting sustainable and 
equitable development.
The strategy to create an information society has seven major points and 
plans. They are:
. development of ICT infrastructure
. research and development of technologies and software
. expansion of ICT use throughout the society
. development and use of the country's human capital resources
. enhancement of the country's industrial capacity in ICT
. increasing awareness among people of ICT, its benefits and use
. integration of all efforts under a central body

In January 2000 decision-making capacity and resources related to 
information technology were transferred to the new Ministry of Informatics 
and Communications (MIC). Its mission has been to incorporate every sector 
of Cuban society into the ICT revolution, what the Cubans call the 
"informatization" of society.[85] The new Vice Minister Melchor Gil 
summarized his task thus, "We are going to socialize computing."[86]

COMPUTING, TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND MASS EDUCATION

The exploitation of the information and telecommunications revolution 
requires a solid base of human resources. Cuba's efforts in fostering mass 
education has led to the creation of a pool of highly trained and skilled 
workforce, unique in the developing world. It should be noted that human 
capital is different from other factors of production. "Unlike capital 
resources, knowledge cannot easily be redistributed as a result of political 
decisions, it needs to be nurtured - by individuals, communities, and 
countries."[87] The Cuban state has promoted and nurtured universal free 
education since 1960 and anticipates a significant payoff in a 
knowledge-driven world economy.

Consider that as of the year 1997:
.  1.5% of Cuba's GDP was spent on research programs
.  there were 1.8 scientists and engineers per 1,000 people, 53% of them 
being women
.  40,000 scientists worked at 204 science and technology research centers
.  12% of Latin America's engineers were Cuban
.  75% of the work force had, on the average, a 10th grade education
.  99.4% of the population between ages 5-14 was attending school, and that 
92.9% of those between ages 12-14 attended secondary school
.  29% of the population over age 18 was attending an institution of higher 
learning
.  24,800 professors were teaching at 47 universities and institutions of 
higher learning
.  there were 11,762 primary and secondary schools or specialized programs, 
and all schools had at least one computer
.  Computer related courses were part of the curriculum beginning with the 
7th grade
.  40 nation-wide adult education programs were offered in computer science 
by the Institute of Science
.  there had been 15,000 graduates of higher education programs in computer 
and electronics since 1970
.  8 Cuban universities offered degrees in information technology
.  10 MA degrees in Informatics and Telecommunications were available
.  there were 4,900 computers in 45 universities and institutions of higher 
learning
.  university students were spending 1.8 hours/day using PCs
.  87% of all computers at universities were networked
.  25% of population was able to operate a computer

By the year 2000, 9 universities were connected to the Internet. [88]

The Cuban educational system began early in training people in computing and 
telecommunications. In the 1980s computers were first introduced to 
universities and technical schools. By 1990 computers classes were taught at 
the secondary level to approximately 1 million students. That same year the 
Ministry of Education began to apply computer related curricula, on an 
experimental basis in 150 elementary schools. The experiences of other 
countries were studied too.[89] Thereafter computer resources were bought 
for the 7th grade, the next year for the sixth grade, and so on thereafter.
More schools are progressively providing education, training, and resources 
and ever more access to email, national Intranets and the Internet. In that 
sense, computing is being "socialized." There are, however, other means of 
social access at no direct cost to the user. One of these is the national 
Joven Club network.


Footnotes:

[42] Michael Minges, Counting the Net: Internet Access Indicators, Geneva: 
International Telecommunication Union, 2000

[43] Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the opening of the Youth Club 
Computer and Electronics Center in Havana, Cubavisión Television (Havana), 
March 7, 1991.

[44] Report by Cuba's Deputy Minister for Telecommunications and 
Electronics, Melchor Gil, Press Conference, Havana, March 15, 2001.

[45] "Dispondrán de 14 000 computadoras centros educacionales cubanos de 
enseñanza media," Granma (Havana) February 28, 2001.

[46] Alberto Núñez Betancourt,"Fidel reinaugura Joven Club Central de 
Computación," Granma Internacional (Havana) April 5, 2001.

[47] Inter American Commission on Human Rights, Annual Report 2000, 
Washington, DC, Section 65.

[48] Vanessa Bauzá, "Cubans Learn How To Use Computers," Sun-Sentinel, March 
1, 2001.

[49] John Spicer Nichols and Alicia M Torres, Telecommunications in Cuba, 
The Virtual Institute of Information, Columbia Business School, Paper No. 5, 
New York, 1998. http://www.vii.org/

[50] United Nations, Statistics Division, World Statistics Pocketbook and 
Statistical Yearbook, 2000.

[51] Enrique López, "Cuba's Telecommunications needs," CubaNews, October 
1993, p. 5.

[52] "ETECSA se llama a sí misma," Granma (Havana), March 21, 2001.

[53] John Spicer Nichols and Alicia M Torres, Telecommunications in Cuba, 
The Virtual Institute of Information, Columbia Business School, Paper No. 5, 
New York, 1998. http://www.vii.org

[54] Ibid.

[55] Bradford De Long and Lawrence Summers, "How Strongly Do Developing 
Economies Benefit From Equipment Investment?," Journal of Monetary 
Economics, No. 32, 1993, pp. 315-415.

[56]Lilliam Riera, "Cuban Telecommunications," Granma International, 
December 21, 2000.

[57] "International Priority for Public and Rural Telephone development," 
Granma International (Havana), December 21, 2000.

[58] Enrique J. López and Maby Gonzalez-López, "Communications," in Jason L. 
Feer and Teo A. Babún, editors, CubaNews Business Guide to Cuba, Miami, 
2000, Section. 5-11.

[59] Mosaic Group, The Global Diffusion of the Internet Project - An Initial 
Inductive Study, March 1998, chapter 4, p. 51.

[60] Alvin and Heidi Toffler, The Third Wave, New York: Bantam Books, 1991 
and by the same authors, Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the 
Third Wave, Atlanta: Turner Pub., 1995

[61] Christopher R. Kedezie, Communication and Democracy: Coincident 
Revolutions and the Emergent Dictator's Dilemma, (Santa Monica, Calif.: 
RAND, 1997). The technological determinist dilemma thesis was elucidated by 
Larry Press. The following works were written from that perspective: Larry 
Press, Cuban Telecommunications, Computer Networking, and U. S. Policy 
Implications" (75 pages) DRR-1330-OSD, RAND Corp., Santa Monica, CA, 
February, 1996; Larry Press, Cuban Telecommunications Infrastructure and 
Investment, Proceedings of the Conference of the Association for the Study 
of the Cuban Economy, Miami, August, 1996; Larry Press, Cuban Networks and 
their Impact, Proceedings of the Conference of the Association for the Study 
of the Cuban Economy, Miami, August, 1996; Larry Press, Cuban Computer 
Networks and their Determinants, DRR-1814-OSD (49 pages), RAND Corporation, 
Santa Monica, CA, February, 1998; Larry Press, Cuba, in The MOSAIC Group, 
The Global Diffusion of the Internet Project, An Initial Inductive Study, pp 
51-84, March 1998; Larry Press, "We Shape our Tools and they Shape Us (A 
Cuban Example)," OnTheInternet, Vol. 4, No. 2, March/April, 1998, pp. 38-39 
(In this work the author shifted from his earlier position which tended to 
be more technologically determinist); Larry Press, The Information 
Revolution in Latin America, Rand Workshop on the Future of the Information 
Revolution in Latin America, November 1-2, 2000, Washington DC.

[62] William J. Drake, Shanthi Kalathil and Taylor C. Boas, ""Dictatorships 
in the Digital Age: Some Considerations on the Internet in China and Cuba," 
IMP Magazine, October 2000.

[63] One freelance writer wrote that the Cuban Government initially declared 
access to the Internet to be a "fundamental right" of the Cuban people but 
immediately changed its mind after discovering the dangers of the Internet. 
Patrick Symmes, "Ché is Dead", Wired (San Francisco, CA), February 1998.

[64] Nelson P. Valdés, Cuba, The Internet and U.S. Policy, Georgetown 
University, Caribbean project, Briefing papers No. 13, March 1997.

[65] Taylor C. Boas "The Dictator's Dilemma? The Internet and U.S. Policy 
Toward Cuba," The Washington Quarterly, Summer 2000, p. 58.

[66] Lieutenant Colonel Geoff Demarest, "Cuba's Transition", Military 
Review, May-June 2001, pp 55-63.

[67] The statement was made by Marc Thiessen. Tom Carter, "Lawmakers with 
Cuban Ties Try to Raise Heat on Castro," Washington Times, April 24, 1998, 
A1.

[68] Quoted in William J. Drake, Shanthi Kalathil, and Taylor C. Boas, 
"Dictatorships in the Digital Age: Some Considerations on the Internet in 
China and Cuba," IMP Magazine, October 2000.

[69] The United States Association of Former Members of Congress sent a 
delegation to Cuba in 1999 that recommended, "breakthroughs in the 
telecommunications industry should be explored to increase information links 
to Cuba. Internet, e-mail, cell phones and other state-- of-the-art 
communications slowly are bringing information and ideas to the country. It 
is recommended that the U.S. government and Congress consider authorizing 
U.S. telecommunications companies to explore possibilities for establishing 
more open and diverse communications between the United States and Cuba." 
See: Congressional Record (Washington, DC) May 13, 1999 (House DOCID: 
cr13may99-28), H3091H3109, wais.acess.gpo.gov.

[70] Congressional Record, May 13, 1999 (House DOCID: cr13may99-28), 
H3091H3109, http://www.wais.acess.gpo.gov

[71] Ibid.

[72] United Nations, ACC Statement to the Economic and Social Council on 
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Development, New York: 
United Nations, May 24, 2001.

[73] "Entrevista a Ignacio González Planas, titular del Ministerio de la 
Informática y las Comunicaciones - La conectividad es la clave," Giga 
(Havana), Vol. 3, No 4, 2000.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Jesús Martínez Alfonso, "El papel del Estado en el desarrollo de la 
Internet en Cuba, Una vision diferente del problema." Ciencias de la 
Información (Instituto de Documentación e Información Científica y Técnica), 
Vol. 30, No. 1, March 1999, pp. 55-59.

[76] United Nations, Report of the Meeting of the High-level Panel of 
Experts on Information and Communication Technology, New York, April 17-20, 
2000, A/55/75 - E/2000/55.

[77] Horacio Bilbao, "La otra revolución," Revista Internet Surf (Buenos 
Aires), No. 38, Junio 2001. http://www.isurf.com.ar/01-06-junio/nota1.htm

[78] Matthew Broersma, "Despite Obstacles, Cubans Take Advantage of the 
 Net," ZDNet News, January 21, 1998.

[79] Yochai Benkler, "Communications Infrastructure Regulation and the 
Distribution of Control Over Content," Telecommunications Policy, Vol. 22, 
No.3, 1998.

[80] "La conectividad es clave - Entrevista con Ignacio González Planas," 
Giga (Havana) vol 3, no. 4, 2000.

[81] "Imparten seminario sobre el acceso de Cuba a Internet," Granma 
(Havana), June 18, 1996.

[82] "Los dilemmas de Internet," Juventud Rebelde (Havana), November 19, 
1997.

[83] "Incrementó el país nivel de digitilización," Granma (Havana), May 23, 
2000.

[84] Among the relevant works: Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, Visión de la 
informatización de la sociedad cubana, Havana: COPEXTEL, 1997; Melchor Gil, 
Información y reflexiones, Havana: Ministerio de la Industria Sideromecánica 
y Electrónica, Departamento Electrónica, 1998; Ministerio de Ciencia, 
Tecnología y Medio Ambiente, Estrategia de
comunicación. Cultura Informacional en el Siglo XXI, La Habana, 1999.

[85] "La conectividad es la clave - Entrevista a Ignacio González Planas, 
titular del Ministerio de la Informática y las Comunicaciones" Giga 
(Havana), Vol. 3, No 4, 2000.

[86] Angel Gónzalez, "Silicon Island: A Cuban Fantasy?," Wired, June 6, 
2001. http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,44279,00.html

[87] United Nations, Report of the Meeting of the High-level Panel of 
Experts on Information and Communication Technology, New York, 17-20 April 
2000, A/55/75 - E/2000/55.

[88] Sources for the information for the items mentioned below: "Denuncia 
Fidel campaña sobre supuesta amenaza cibernética para Estados Unidos, 
"Granma Internacional (Havana), June 15, 2001; Oficina Nacional de 
Estadísticas, La Habana. Publicaciones Seleccionadas 1999; "Extienden los 
Joven Club la computación a enseñanza primaria y discapacitados," Granma 
(Havana) January 26, 2001; Timothy Ashby and Elizabeth Bourget, "Dotcommies 
Take Over Cuba," Christian Science Monitor, December 20, 2000; "Colosal 
esfuerzo por socializar la informática y la computación," Granma (Havana), 
March 20, 2001; "Informatización de las Universidades del Oriente cubano," 
Granma (Havana) December 4, 2000; Margarita Pécora Barrientos, "Ciencia y 
Tecnología - Generación cibernética," Juventud Rebelde (Havana), September 
21, 2000.

[89] Fidel Castro, Speech at 'Pedagogy 90' Congress, February 10, 1990, 
Havana, Cuba.


TO BE CONTINUED 


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