In the absence of a full lifting of the embargo, which remains in the hands of a fractious U.S. Congress, U.S. regulations modified to reflect President Obama's new Cuba policy already make it easier for U.S. companies to provide commercial telecom and Internet services to the island. This includes permission for the export of personal computers, mobile phones, televisions, memory and recording devices, and to set up joint ventures with Cuban entities.
Major U.S. tech companies like Google and a host of smaller players are already offering to help Cuba unlock its "knowledge economy". Cuba's government should not allow backward-looking suspicion and mistrust to block this opportunity to receive a growth-boosting injection of high-tech equipment and know-how from the country that has produced Google, Apple and Uber.
In stretching out a hand of friendship to Havana, President Obama has opened a window into a future of communication and cooperation not only between the governments of both nations but between their peoples too. Cuba's close proximity to the United States, its existing knowledge economy, a skilled and prosperous diaspora, and the island's budding entrepreneurial class are factors that can facilitate such cooperation.