On December 23, Cuba inaugurated its first factory to produce tablets and laptops in a bid to promote technology and digital literacy on the island.
The factory, owned by the state-run Informatics, Communications and Electronics Entity, has a production capacity of 120,000 units per year.
According to a report by Cuba’s national television, the new factory produces sixth-generation laptops with i3, Celeron and i5 Cores, as well as 8- and 10-inch tablets.
Experts from the University of Computer Science also are part of the project, building the operating systems and computer applications for the new equipment, and participating in the production process. The Chinese company Haier will provide the technology, equipment, and staff training.
With this initiative, Cuba is taking a major step forward in its technological development, which has been severely hampered by the U.S. economic blockade.
Despite an ongoing process to normalize relations between the two countries – which began on December 17, 2014 – and President Obama’s March 2016 visit to Cuba, the economic blockade remains in effect.
Cuba reported earlier this year that the blockade has cost the island 753.7 billion USD over the last six decades, and 4.7 billion over the last year alone.
This year, the U.N. General Assembly voted against the U.S. blockade on Cuba for the 25th year in a row.
During the historic 191 to 0 vote, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power announced that, for the first time, the United States would abstain from the process rather than cast a “no” vote.