The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 67/No. 35           October 13, 2003  
Vietnam ships 3,000 computers to Cuba
In September Cuba will receive the first 3,000 personal computers of a total of 10,000 scheduled to be delivered by Vietnam’s state-owned Hanoi Electronics Co. by the end of this year. Company representative Hoang Thi Hoan told the Cuban daily Granma in late August that “it is an honor to fill the order of the sister Caribbean nation.” Hanel, as the manufacturer is usually known, is one of Vietnam’s largest electronics makers. The Vietnamese company and Cuban government signed a contract for the shipment in February. Hanel also agreed to help Cuban workers construct a production line to assemble television sets for domestic use as well as export. The agreement includes increased collaboration in electronics and information technology with Cuban enterprises.

The shipment will help the Cuban government to implement recently announced programs. Last August Fernando Vecino of Cuba’s Ministry of Higher Education announced a three-year plan to train 1,200 computer science teachers, as part of the efforts to extend university-level computer education to all of the country’s provinces. These efforts are especially important, he explained, because the ministry is encouraging the greater use of computers in order to make all courses available on the internet, and to take advantage of virtual labs.

These efforts are part of a political offensive being waged in Cuba today to expand access to culture and education. The government has set out to provide a television, video recorder, and computer in every school, including those in the most remote areas; a national network of computer centers for local young people and video clubs; and a national TV program, known as the University for All, offering courses for people of all ages in subjects from English and French to world geography and art.  
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