Schmidt hits Cuba

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt made a secret visit to Cuba as part of his campaign to get all sorts of black listed stamps into his passport.

Schmidt has been touring authoritarian governments with less-than-favourable internet access, in a bid to get them to join the internet revolution.

In doing so he has ignored US laws which have forbidden its citizens from traveling to Cuba or spending any money within the country. The US was always miffed that it lost a fortune when its corporate backed puppet government in Cuba was overthrown by a Communist revolution.

Even though the cold war is over, the ban remains in effect, mostly because of a politically powerful Cuban ex-pat community.

Schmidt has made controversial visits to North Korea and Myanmar to promote internet freedom, and has previously spoken out against online censorship happening in both China and India.

Schmidt was joined by a crew of former Google employees as well as author Jared Cohen. Schmidt and company were apparently there to get a tour of Cuba’s University of Information Sciences in Havana and discuss life within the country.

Less than three percent of Cuba’s population has access to the internet, which is expensive. Google has been looking at ways of increasing internet access in developing countries lately and it might have been that Schmidt was interested in talking to the Cubans about the project.