Abel Prieto Jiménez, Cuban Presidential advisor, speaking during the closing session of the Second International TIC Conference: A New Stage for Political Communication in the Digital Environment 2015, emphasized that new clear, decolonizing conceptions of internet and information technology must be developed.

Photo: Anabel Díaz

Following three days of intense discussion, participants from more than 30 countries reached consensus on the need to create an inter-governmental mechanism which would allow all countries to play a role, and meet their responsibilities under equality of conditions, in developing policies to govern the Internet.

“It must be an effort on the part of all governments to ensure in the near future that the Internet is a zone of peace, as CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) has proposed, and not a theater of military operations,” he said.

Prieto continued, saying that the prevailing view is that technology reigns supreme “… without memory, defenseless in the face of manipulation, egotistical. The virtual world of ITC reflects the problems and contradictions of the real world today.”

He continued, saying, “The dilemma presented by the hegemonic machine is even more radical: Either you definitively join in or you don’t exist.”

Prieto noted that currently, “Two opposite, antagonistic poles can be discerned among users. One which appropriates ITC to construct nuclei of cultural resistance, from different points of view, and the other which shares the codes and models of the traditional communications media.”

Concluding his remarks, Prieto added that beyond pragmatically making use of digital platforms to facilitate financial transactions and make our institutions more visible, etc, what is needed is re-thinking technology as a component - along with the economy, politics, and culture – essential to society’s development, and the intellectual, professional, spiritual and political growth of human beings.