Cuba's new president meets with US senator, Google exec

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) speaks to reporters next to Eric Schmidt, behind, former Executive Chairman of Google, in Havana, Cuba, Monday, June 4, 2018. Google and Cuba have been discussing how the company can help connect Cuba to undersea fiber-optic cables that run relatively near to the island, which would allow Cubans faster access to data stored around the world. Cuba now uses a cable that runs under the Caribbean to Venezuela. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
A man sporting a tattoo of revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara on a Cuban flag uses the internet on his mobile at a public Wi-Fi zone in Havana, Cuba, Monday, June 4, 2018. Google and Cuba have been discussing how the company can help connect Cuba to undersea fiber-optic cables that run relatively near to the island, which would allow Cubans faster access to data stored around the world. Cuba now uses a cable that runs under the Caribbean to Venezuela. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
People use the internet at a public Wi-Fi zone in Havana, Cuba, Monday, June 4, 2018. Google and Cuba have been discussing how the company can help connect Cuba to undersea fiber-optic cables that run relatively near to the island, which would allow Cubans faster access to data stored around the world. Cuba now uses a cable that runs under the Caribbean to Venezuela. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

HAVANA — New President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Monday held his first official meeting with visitors from the U.S., discussing increased internet access for Cuba with Google executive Eric Schmidt and Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Google and Cuba have been discussing how the company can help connect Cuba to undersea fiber-optic cables that run relatively near to the island, which would allow Cubans faster access to data stored around the world. Cuba now uses a cable that runs under the Caribbean to Venezuela.

Flake and Schmidt said no agreement was reached at the meeting, but Flake described the session with the new president as positive and an important step toward an eventual deal.

"I think it moved the needle in the extent that it needed to," Flake said.

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