U.S. Blockade Hinders IT Development in Cuba

Havana, Oct 3.- The U.S. blockade prevents the development of the Cuban IT firm of Information Technology and Advanced Telematic Services (Citmatel), which operates today a science network and the website Cuba with information about the country.

The U.S. siege on Cuba, maintained for over half a century, has prevented a firm like Citmatel to get to the levels it could otherwise attain, said in an interview in Havana Beatriz Alonso, Manager of Citmatel, which belongs to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.

“We constantly face the fact of not having access to technologies, certain software and a very limited marketing of products, and this prevents us from enjoying the most modern technological breakthroughs and flexible financial systems for our products in the market” she said.

From its foundation 15 years ago, this firm develops and commercializes IT applications, projects, equipment and technical assistance, multimedia products, audiovisual materials and on-line editions through science and innovation, and integrating solutions with new information and communication technologies.

Citmatel operates an important scientific network with results of Cuban scientific institutions, and it runs the Cuba website, a multimedia editorial with contents and formats in several fields and languages, e-commerce services and on-line teaching, and is responsable of granting and registering country code top-level domain (.cu).

But the U.S. blockade on Cuba delays the development of Citmatel, which with its incorporated scientific level and the quality of its human resources could be at a more advanced stage of development, stated Alonso.

The U.S. economic war also prevents Citmatel specialists from attending courses on state-of-the-art technologies, among other training actions.

Despite all this, Citmatel will continue seeking the development of technologies based on the Internet, focusing on issues related to e-commerce, as well as new forms of printing on demand, including publishing books on several topics, she said.

Alonso added that Citmatel will also continue dealing with issues related to the use of phones and tablets for the national net, the design of educational games for children and youngsters, as well as audio-books for the blind and visually impaired, among other electronic products and features.(Prensa Latina)

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