Alphabet Inc’s Google is poised to expand Internet access in Cuba, U.S. President Barack Obama told ABC News in an interview during his historic visit to the island nation.
“One of the things that we’ll be announcing here is that Google has a deal to start setting up more WiFi and broadband access on the island,” Obama said in the interview that aired on Monday.
Visiting US President Barack Obama believes “change is going to happen” in Cuba, in comments broadcast shortly ahead of rare talks Monday in Havana with counterpart Raul Castro.
Obama, who arrived on the communist island Sunday with his family, is the first US president to visit in 88 years and comes more than a year after he and Castro surprised the world in December 2014 by announcing that their countries would begin normalizing relations.
“Change is going to happen here and I think that Raul Castro understands that,” he told ABC in the Cuban capital, acknowledging it was not going to occur “overnight.”
“But what we have seen is the reopening of the embassy and although we still have significant differences around human rights and individual liberties inside of Cuba, we felt that coming now would maximize our ability to prompt more change.”
But Obama, who along with Castro will deliver statements to the press after their midday talks Monday, admitted: “There’s no doubt that the Cuban government is still a one-party state that’s exerting control and that’s stifling dissent.”