IT in Cuba

Telecommunication Infrastructure

Liberalization and Deregulation

Internet Diffusion

Electronic Commerce

Hardware Manufacturing

Software Manufacturing

Who Uses IT?

IT Labor Market

IT Geographics

IT Financing

Government Policies

Legal Environment

Transborder Data Flows

Analysis: IT Strengths and Weaknesses

Analysis: Impacts on the Business

Sources and Links

About the Authors


Information Technology in Cuba

Cuba is the Caribbean's largest and least commercialized island and one of the world's last bastions of communism. The island's relative political isolation has prevented it from being overrun by tourists, and locals are sincerely friendly to those who do visit.

Full country name: Republic of Cuba
Area: 110,860 sq km
Population: 11 million
Capital city: Havana (pop 2,200,000)
People: 60% Spanish descent, 22% mulatto, 11% African descent, 1% Chinese
Language: Spanish
Religion: 47% Catholic, 4% Protestant, 2% Santerķa (many Catholics also practice Santerķa)
Government: Communist Republic
Head of State: Fidel Castro
GDP: US$20 billion
GDP per head: US$2000
Annual growth: 2.5%
Major industries: Sugar, minerals, tobacco, agricultural, medicine & tourism
Major trading partners: Western Europe, Latin America, Russia, China, Iran & North Korea

Source: Lonely Planet (56).

IT Overview

Cuba's international telecommunication infrastructure is in better condition and better able to meet current and future demand than their internal infrastructure, although that is also improving. Demand for telecommunication is rising in spite of the economic effects of the loss of Eastern Europe and the embargo. Key industries which generate hard currency (tourism and biotechnology) require communication, and their requirements are being slowly funded.

In an effort to improve telecommunications in Cuba, a committee regulating the policy on global information networks has been formed and an Internet plan formulated. Increased foreign investment in Cuban telecommunication can be expected. In spite of the political risks, Castro sees that modern communication and computer networks are necessary for the economy and is willing to open new doors in order to make this possible.


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This report was completed in December 2000 for the class Impacts of National Information Technology Environments on Business given by Professor Carmel in the program of Management Of Global Information Technology at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington D.C.