Tomás Regalado, director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, threatened to resign from the Cuba Internet Task Force if members did not agree to reject any deals with the Cuban government.
Radio & TV Martí quoted Regalado as saying:
My position was very clear. I said that as a member of this commission I asked, I demanded, that this draft be completely changed and that any mention of negotiating, conversing and subsidizing the Cuban regime be eliminated, directly or indirectly, or I would resign as a member of that committee.
Recommendations to the task force include softening “certain parts of the embargo so that Cuba would have access to Internet infrastructure.”
Regalado, who oversees Radio & TV Martí, said he disagreed with that idea.
The worst thing was that they asked that U.S. companies be subsidized with taxpayers’ money to create this type of infrastructure in Cuba and that they talk to Cuban officials to convince them of the need for the people of Cuba to have Internet.
I think this is important because, as I pointed out, in the United States there are the best brains in the world and the most resources to not have to rely at all on the government of Cuba, on the Havana regime, to give internet to Cubans.
Regalado said the group’s mission “was to provide free Internet for all Cubans.”
The task force met on Thursday. The State Department said in a statement:
During the meeting, members of the public had the opportunity to contribute additional comments and recommendations for the task force’s consideration. The Task Force agreed to prepare a final report with recommendations for the Secretary of State and the President by May 2019. The report will outline recommendations for expanding internet access in Cuba with the goal of helping the Cuban people enjoy the free and unregulated flow of information.
The Cuba Internet Task Force is chaired by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Dale Eppler. In addition to the Department of State, other entities represented on the Task Force include the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Freedom House, and the Information Technology Industry Council.
The Cuba Internet Task Force is a Presidential Advisory Committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Consistent with the objectives of FACA, we continue to ensure that advice of the advisory committee is objective and accessible to the public. All public documents related to the task force are available on the Department of State’s Cuba Internet Task Force webpage. Those interested in providing additional comments for the task force’s consideration may do so on the webpage or by emailing CubaITF@state.gov.