Ex-Cuba prisoner rejects Trump plan to expand internet on island

Ex-Cuba prisoner rejects Trump plan to expand internet on island
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A former prisoner of Cuba on Sunday objected to the Trump administration’s efforts to expand internet access on the island. 

“Until the government of Cuba wants the kind of assistance the United States is capable of providing, the United States shouldn’t be doing stuff there,” Alan Gross told Reuters.

In 2009, Gross was arrested in Cuba after he brought in communications devices and other gear as part of a U.S.-government funded effort to increase internet access and promote social change on the island.

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He was released in 2014.

“I learned the hard way that it’s illegal to distribute anything in Cuba that’s funded in full or part by the U.S. government,” Gross told the news agency.

The State Department announced last month the creation of a Cuba Internet Task Force intended to “promote the free and unregulated flow of information in Cuba.” 

The task force has its first meeting this week.

Cuban officials pushed back against the new task force, however, saying it disrespects Cuban sovereignty. The Cuban Foreign Ministry called the United States's actions “subversive, interventionist and illegal.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China MORE has taken a tougher stance on Cuba than his predecessor, former President Obama, who opened relations with Cuba after decades of hostility.