The strategic bases of the Cuban informatization

Yurisander Guevara

The projection in this field is to have a meaningful impact on the development of life in the nation. The creation of the Informaticians Union of Cuba was announced during the First National Workshop on Informatization and Cybersecurity.

To obtain results that have a decisive impact in the development of life in the nation is the objective of the bases and priorities for the perfecting of the informatization of the Cuban society, presented this Wednesday by the Vice-Minister of Communications (Ministry of Communications, MICONS) Wilfredo González, in the opening session of the First National Workshop on Informatization and Cybersecurity, to which also assisted some members of the Political Bureau, namely Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Vice-president of the Council of States and the Council of Ministers; the Hero of the Republic of Cuba, General of the Army Corps Álvaro López Miera, First Vice-Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and Chief of the General Staff; Mercedes López Acea, Vice-president of the Council of State; and Adel Yzquierdo, First Vice-Minister of Economy and Planning.

Nowadays work is being done in several directions but with the same goal: that Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) turn into a strategic development sector for the country and potentiate the economy of knowledge.

According to the speech of the Vice-minister to the more than 7 500 professionals of the branch that were in this opening plenary, interconnected throughout the country via videoconference, the current situation of the Informatics activity does not meet the needs of the population, because of the scarce advance in the use of the ICTs in a uniformed and coherent way.

González added that in this context, were it is crucial the exploitation of the ICTs as a tool for the development of the knowledge, the economy, and the politic-ideological activity, it is pressing the drafting of a strategy like this one.

In the event, that would be sessioning until this Friday, had an impact that an important part of the success is related to the creation of the Informaticians Union of Cuba, an organization that will be created to gather as much opinions as possible from specialists of the whole country.

González assured that to come to the point where we are today, the MINCOM, under the guidance of the Party and the Government has conducted a process along with experts of more than 10 organisms, which elaborated the diagnosis presented to the delegates of the event.

The public functionary highlighted that the document is based in principles such as the political defense and Cybersecurity; the preservation and development of human capital; the technological sustainability and sovereignty; the informatization in terms of developing and modernizing all spheres of society; the integration of investigation, development and innovation with the production processes; as well as the use and massive and intensive access to the ICTs by the citizens.

In like manner, sectorial programs would be established to adopt the ICTs, far beyond the simple use of Internet, through the exploitation in the national processes of production.

González highlighted that it would be necessary to standardize services structures for the computer activities in organisms and entities in the country, as well as to strengthen the software industry, a huge potential in Cuba taking into account the human capital developed by the Revolution throughout this years.

Informaticians Union of Cuba, a necessary space

During its speech, the Vice-minister of the MINCOM explained the strategic points in which the informatization policy of the Cuban society will be based.

Human capital is at the center of the whole process. That is why it is pressing to meet the needs of specialists through professional training, access to technologies, telework and the stimulus according to their results. González explained that it is necessary the study of technologies that potentiate the open code, as well as the creation of an organization that groups Informatics’ professionals.

In this sense, the delegates watched a video in which the Doctor in Sciences Ailyn Flebes, Vice-rector of the University of Informatics Sciences went into details regarding the Informaticians Union of Cuba (UIC).

This organism will pursue the creation of an atmosphere for research, professional training, and protection of copyright, all associated to the development of the informatization, Flebes said.

The UIC will be created through voluntary affiliation and the requirements to be part of it will be stated in statutes and regulations. All graduates of majors related to the Informatics and other professionals that can certify important work on this field would be admitted.

The new organization will be based in objectives, rights and duties. It seeks to group as many computer specialists as possible and will be organized at three levels. At the national level it will be holding congresses and will have a council and a board of directors. In the provinces there will be territorial directions and at the base the organization will be structured starting from cells with common interest. The computer specialists, she stated, can affiliate to them regarding their interests.

The new entity, Febles assured, intends to be an organization that manages knowledge, that has information on its associates in order to identify who knows what and also to be able to boost projects for those better trained according to the subjects pursued. Another of its goals is the international cooperation through its participation in events that allows it to compare experiences and accelerate the scientific and technological growth of the ICTs in Cuba. “There will be alliances with organizations of other countries, joint activities, discussion fora”, highlighted Febles.

Security, legality, sustainability

Within the strategic points mentioned by Wilfredo González stands out the need to strengthen the national cybersecurity. It is necessary that the population trust in the new systems to be developed, like the electronic commerce and government, the first one aimed to online shopping and other similar activities, meanwhile the second one allows managing procedures that in many occasions become troublesome and delayed in the daily process.

Another important point is the legal framework associated to the computer activity. González assured they have been working on three fundamental issues: the update of the penal and administrative legislation that covers the range of crimes and violations in the cyberspace, the creation of a regulatory framework to boost the mentioned electronic commerce and everything related to intellectual property and copyright.

A fundamental pillar in this strategy is the development of the infrastructure and equipment. In that order they have been working in six points: integration of telephony, digital television and data services; creation of a national network of data centers; deployment of broadband in the country; commercialization of computer equipment at affordable prices it was commented about plans to install factories of these in the country–, and the necessary sustainability.

It is also necessary to potentiate international cooperation in order to increase access and the transference of technologies, besides the creation of mechanisms that allow adopting world standards and potentiate the Cuban position on cybersecurity matters.

Science and education go together in this process. According to the Vice-minister it is necessary to improve the management model to link research centers with universities and productive entities. Parallel the national education programs should be updated in order to form a citizen prepared to assimilate the ICTs and stimulate students to study majors related to the technical sciences.

González explained that regarding applications and services they foresee the enlargement of the capabilities and use of Internet, with affordable and competitive prices. The same way it will be fostered our own safe computer solutions with the state sector and the private, besides strengthening the national software industry and certifying the quality of these creations.

We cannot generate services that are not sustainable for the country’s economy, affirmed González. It is necessary to boost service exports and computer products, to establish business models among operators and telecommunications providers, to promote the creation and development of state enterprises in consonance with non-state management ways.

Along with the event there is also a debating forum in the website of the Ministry of Communications (www.mincom.gob.cu) that when this editorial was closing had already more than 200 opinions in the topics presented: the Informaticians Union of Cuba, the national priorities of informatization and the bases to implement this policy. 

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