Venezuela: Fiber-optic cable to Cuba is working

Venezuela's science and technology minister says an undersea fiber-optic cable that was laid last year between Venezuela and Cuba is working.

Jorge Arreaza says the cable is, in his words, "absolutely operational." He says it will be up to Cuba how it uses the cable on the island.

The project was carried out last year by Alcatel-Lucent SA of France for the state telecommunication companies of Venezuela and Cuba. The cable was laid starting in Venezuela and reached eastern Cuba in February 2011.

But 10 months after the system was supposed to have gone online, Cuba's government has not recently mentioned the cable, and the Internet on the island remains the slowest in the hemisphere. The link had been expected to promptly improve the speed of the Internet in Cuba.