TechFreedom Joins Coalition Calling for End to Cuba Embargo

Morning Consult

By: Amir Nasr

The free market think tank TechFreedom on Friday joined a coalition of businesses calling for an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba, saying such a step would be a “win-win, especially for technology.”

“Lifting the embargo opens a new market for American companies, and Cubans will gain access to online services that provide jobs, foster free speech, and enable more cultural diffusion,” Tom Struble, policy counsel at TechFreedom, said in a statement. “Travel is essential to the Cuban tech sector, as U.S. companies and experts need the freedom to help spur startups and accelerate broadband deployment on the Island.”

On-demand companies such as Airbnb have already been operating in Cuba, which Struble said helps “Cubans earn extra income and capitalize on the increase in visitors.”

“Improving technology on the island is one of the best ways to stimulate economic growth,” said James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a coalition of businesses, trade associations and advocacy groups calling for an end to the embargo. “Almost 40% of the Cuban workforce is now employed by the private sector, and those emerging entrepreneurs need access to the internet, mobile phones, and other digital devices.”

Williams said he hoped partnering with TechFreedom would help the group “demonstrate to Congress that there is growing interest across sectors in ending 50 years of failed, isolationist policies.”