Despite not leading the country for almost ten years, the death of Cuba’s revolutionary ex-leader Fidel Castro could lead to Cuba getting a much-needed acceleration in internet access and the digital economy.
In 2002, Fidel Castro himself inaugurated a program to computerize the country and develop a homegrown software industry. Additionally, Cuba has a surprisingly large supply of engineers, giving it the potential to become a technology hub in its own right.
By early 2016, a Harvard report found that Cuban universities were graduating 5,500 computer scientists per year, including thousands with advanced degrees.
Even if Fidel’s successor and younger brother Raúl Castro doesn’t immediately embrace more robust Cuban digitalization, Raúl’s predicted successor, 56 year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel, seems likely to, given his electrical engineering background.