Google Chrome is now surfable in Cuba
The web giant makes its Internet browser available for download in one
of the world’s most closed-off countries.
by Dara Kerr
@darakerr August 20, 2014 7:17 PM PDT
Google Chrome is now downloadable in Cuba — a country known for limited
Internet access. The Web giant announced Wednesday that it made the
browser available specifically to Cubans via google.com.cu.
“We’re happy to say that Internet users in Cuba can now use Chrome,”
Google wrote in a Google+ post, “and browse the web faster and more
safely than they could before.”
While Cubans have been able to access Chrome through other means before
now, they haven’t been able to easily and directly download the browser
to computers or mobile devices.
In a blog post, Google hinted that the reason Cubans had to wait so long
to get Chrome was because of US sanctions against the island nation.
“US export controls and sanctions can sometimes limit the products
available in certain countries,” Google wrote. “As these trade
restrictions evolve we’ve been working to figure out how to make more
tools available in sanctioned countries.”
In June, a delegation of top Google executives, including Executive
Chairman Eric Schmidt, reportedly visited Cuba to push for greater
Internet access. The team was said to have toured the country to see
first-hand how difficult it is for everyday Cubans to get online.
While the Cuban government has been slowly easing restrictions — it
even opened 118 public Internet centers last year — the country is
still extremely closed-off and has one of the lowest Internet
penetration rates in the world. Only 5 percent of Cuban residents have
periodic access to the Internet, according to Freedom House, a US-based
government watchdog and human rights organization.
Besides Cuba, Google also made Chrome downloadable in Syria and Iran
over the past couple of years — two other countries that have faced US
Source: Google Chrome is now surfable in Cuba – CNET –