The area is often stereotyped as poverty-ridden, volatile, and politically unstable. However, technology has been at the core of moving close to 56 million Latin Americans out of poverty and providing stability for many Latin American countries. With significant investment in technology from sources around the world, the Latin American technological landscape is poised for tremendous growth.
As this growth takes place, broadband technologies are a priority. For instance, providing access to residents in hard to reach areas is integral to the region’s evolution. Just by having access to these technologies, Latin Americans stand to benefit from improved public and health services (for example tele-medicine), educational opportunities, and increased productivity.
More importantly, the market is fertile for investment. Argentina, for example, is the eighth largest exporter of computer technology in the world. Furthermore, China, among others, has been a significant investor in the Latin American tech industry.
Of course, the region will face challenges in the midst of this growth. Like many countries on the cusp of a boom, infrastructure needs to catch up with demand. For example, cyber security and regulatory issues still have to be hashed out for the countries that make up Latin America. In addition, making technology accessible primarily through its affordability is will be critical to sustaining technology gains.
The former chair of Harvard University’s Academy for International and Area Studies, Jorge Dominguez retired from active teaching after more than 45 years at the University. Jorge Dominguez has written extensively about US relations with Cuba, specifically on the improved relations the two countries have had since former President Barrack Obama took office.
Obama was keen to improve relations between the United States and Cuba. He first made known his willingness to engage in dialogue with Cuba during the 2007 Democratic Primary Debate. After winning the party ticket and consequently the presidency, he made a concerted effort to engage with the island nation. He lifted restrictions on remittances and facilitated easier travel between the US and Cuba, slowly chipping away at an economic embargo that had been in place for decades.
However, it was not until his second term that he pushed to normalize relations between the two countries. Through a raft of bilateral agreements that began in 2014, former President Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro negotiated a historic prisoner swap and further eased restrictions on travel between the two countries. The new push for normalized relations saw the Cuban government open a bank account in the United States, US companies begin operating in Cuba, and postal services between the two countries resume. Cuba was removed from the US State Sponsors of Terrorism List in 2015, and, months later, Obama became the first sitting US president to set foot on Cuba in 88 years.