News, Cuba, U.S.-Cuban Relations, White House, Joe Biden

News, Cuba

White House discussing providing internet access to Cubans, will announce more sanctions

The White House meeting comes three weeks after thousands of Cubans protested in the streets of Havana against government policies and more.

7/31/2021 3:14:00 AM

The White House meeting comes three weeks after thousands of Cuba ns protested in the streets of Havana against government policies and more.

The White House meeting comes three weeks after thousands of Cuba ns protested in the streets of Havana against government policies and more.

PresidentJoe Bidenis to meet Cuban-American leaders at the White House Friday afternoon regarding a U.S. response to widespread protests that began July 11 in Cuba and have not taken place since the 1990s. Officials not authorized to speak of plans told the AP that Biden is expected to enforce more sanctions following the meeting after imposing sanctions for the communist government last week in regards to arresting protesters.

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Providing Internet access to Cuba after it was momentarily cut off during the July 11 protest will also be discussed at the meeting."The growing access to the internet on the island has been a true revolution that has allowed the population to communicate, organize protests and report abuses almost immediately—something that would have been impossible a few years ago," the Human Rights Watch's director for the Americas, José Miguel Vivanco, told the AP.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.The White House is discussing providing internet access to Cuba and will announce more sanctions. In this photo, Cuban activists and supporters rally outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021.

Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty ImagesOfficials say new moves against the communist government are likely to be announced shortly after Biden's afternoon meeting, which will cover a range of options the administration is considering in response to the protests, including providing internet access to Cubans. The officials were not authorized to preview the actions and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The White House meeting comes almost three weeks after unusual July 11 protests in which thousands of Cubans took to the streets in Havana and other cities to protest shortages, power outages and government policies.Details of the new measures, expected to be announced jointly by the White House, Treasury and State Department, were not immediately clear.

Among the people who will meet with Biden is Yotuel Romero, one of the authors of the song"Patria y vida!" which has become a kind of anthem for the protests, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the plans in public and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Also present will be L. Felice Gorordo, CEO of the company eMerge Americas; Ana Sofía Peláez, founder of the Miami Freedom Project, and Miami's former mayor, Manny Díaz, among others.The White House did not provide more details, only saying that new sanctions will be discussed as well as ways to establish internet access for the Cuban people.

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Internet access is a sensitive issue in Cuba. In the days before the recent protests, there were calls on social media for anti-government demonstrations. Cuba's government said anti-Castro groups in the United States have used social media, particularly

, to campaign against it and blamed Twitter for doing nothing to stop it.Cuban authorities have not explicitly acknowledged that they cut off internet service during the July 11 protest.Some U.S. leaders, including Florida Governor, have said the White House should do something to maintain internet service in Cuba, including using balloons as Wi-Fi access points for the population.

Read more: Newsweek »

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