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Google Executives Visit Cuba for First Time to Promote Open Internet

 / Updated  / Source: Reuters
Image: Google Executive Chairman Schmidt
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt looks on during a talk titled "Connecting with the World: Empowering Young Entrepreneurs for the New Digital Age" at the Chinese University of Hong Kong November 4, 2013. Schmidt told students in Hong Kong that internet freedom was vital to innovation, at the launch of an entrepreneurship programme on Monday. REUTERS/Bobby Yip (CHINA - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS PROFILE EDUCATION) - RTX14ZF0Reuters, file

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MIAMI — A team of top Google executives is visiting Cuba to promote open Internet access, according to a dissident blogger who says she met the group in Havana. The team, led by Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, met with Cuban officials as well as independent people in the technology and digital field, according to a report on the independent news website 14ymedio.com, which was started last month by blogger Yoani Sanchez.

Google is on an official two-day visit "to promote the virtues of a free and open Internet," the report said. Schmidt appeared to confirm the report when he retweeted a message on Twitter posted by Sanchez about the visit — but the tweet has since been deleted. Schmidt was accompanied by Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas, as well as two other staff, Sanchez said. Neither Google nor the Cuban government made any official statement about the executives' presence in Cuba.

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