Obama Got Help in Cuba From Google

President Obama

It has been revealed that President Barack Obama, received help from an unlikely source when he was negotiating secret deals with Cuba to restore diplomatic and business relations.

The Google Executive Chairman travelled to Cuba with two other executives, with support from the White House to talk with Cuban government about having Internet access. After the talks, Mr Schmidt encouraged the end to the trade embargo.

President Obama, however, did not tell Google about the secret negotiations that he was having himself, but Google already had a foothold in the island nation by the time the White House announced in December that the U.S was going to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba. President Obama announced on Monday that Google had already reached an agreement with the Cuban authorities which would see them opening a temporary demonstration project in Havana showcasing some of its Internet products.

One of the Google executives who travelled to Cuba this week, Brett Perlmutter, said that “We hope to have the chance to offer more services to the Cuban people in the future.” The news that Google helped the Obama administration might come as no shock because recent studies show that Google’s foreign interests have been mostly aligned with those of the government.  The trade embargo lifted by the president opens up a new market for Google with close to 10 million customers.

It is not unusual for US businesses to work with the Commerce Department to make trade deals and open up other markets for further business. Google, however, says that they did not lobby any department to end the embargo with Cuba. A State Department spokesman said the department engaged with many U.S companies appropriately to ensure the advancement of U.S interests and its relationship with Google was no different.

The news of the uplifting of the trade embargo comes as a boost for the search giant, as it opens up a new market. Only a third of the world have access to the internet which leaves a big piece of  the pie for Google to tap into. Google executives travelled to North Korea at one stage in 2013 to open up a market there, although the State Department said the visit was not a great idea.

Critics of U.S and Google’s partnership have also been plenty. In one case, a professor at one university alleged that after Mr Schmidt’s visit to Cuba in 2014, the political wing rather than the technical wing of Google had travelled to Cuba. A communist newspaper in China indicated that Google was using its supremacy in the search industry to further American values and extend America’s hegemony.

Google apparently has a substantial presence in the Obama government. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Google and its employees are some of the highest donors for lobbying in the Obama led government, and many former Google employees are also working in the Obama administration.