U.S. Competes with China for Business and Influence in Cuba
The U.S. is not the only country aspiring to get Cuba's interest and open market. Since the sanction was lifted, Cuba is now more open to trade and businesses. The Obama administration is making an effort to build an economic relationship with the company and China is its rival.
China has been doing business in Cuba and in 2015 its trade grew to 57% to $ 1.6 billion in the first three quarters. It's a recovery from a setback of the usual feeble period the year before. It was in December that direct flights to Havana from Beijing began, and China is exercising efforts to develop Cuba's Internet infrastructure, says MSN report.
In January, Cuba revealed that it launches a pilot project to deliver in Old Havana a broadband home Internet access. Residential, cafes, bars and even restaurant will have the access to the service via fiber-optic connections handled by Huawei Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese telecom operator.
Disparate places where competition happens between China and the U.S., Cuba's cultural connection and nearness to its American neighbor possibly could provide an advantage to the U.S. The White House is waging that the connection will help counterpart Beijing not only in the influence for economy but also in the struggle for the country's political future.
A large number of respectable U.S. companies are prepared to assure deals that provide them a position in Cuba, which includes AT&T. American companies advance in the tourism industry and the Obama administration has given definite freedom for telecommunication companies in easing the regulations. It authorized them to operate in Cuba but the country opposed, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"Partly that's a result of the fact that historically we've tried to use telecommunications as an avenue to undermine their government, and so consequently they really don't trust our hardware," said William M. LeoGrande, a professor of government in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C., who has written a book on U.S.-Cuba relations.
Cuba is hesitant to widely open its doors to the U.S. telecom industry that's why it chose a deal with China. Observers say that U.S. firms that seek new divestment in Cuba may face tough times than first expected, according to telesur.
Obama's visit to Cuba this weekend and the diplomatic relations between Havana and the U.S. are set to reach a culmination. It is going to be a record in history as this is the first time that a U.S. president is going to set foot in the country since 1928.