Tour Builder, Another Google Service Not Allowed for Cubans

Tour Builder no está disponible para Cuba

Screenshot of what happens when trying to use Tour Builder within Cuba.

Tour Builder, a new service from Google still in its beta phase, is not available for Cuban users due to the restrictions of the economic embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba. Currently, Google Earth, another one of Google's services unavailable to Cuba, allows users to virtually travel to anywhere on earth. Tour Builder “could change the way users tell stories about their own real-life travels,” according to an article published on Mashable.

This tool provoked much interest that soon spread among Cuban users, considering that they would be able to tell their stories through pictures, videos, texts, and Google Earth. Previously, Google had blocked access to Google Earth, Google Destktop Search, Google Toolbar, Google Analytics and Google Code Search. 

An article published in Cubadebate [es] in 2012 confirms that the new error screen that impedes the use of Google Analytics within Cuba “is based on rules previously defined with the island.” On that occasion, Google maintained that Cuban users “should not have used the online traffic monitoring service because they were in violation of the provisions of the United States’ commercial embargo.”

Google no ha podido explicar por qué se incluyó en los servicios censurados para Cuba a Google Analytics, un producto gratuito -como el buscador y el correo electrónico de esa compañía-, que funciona desde Internet, sin tener que ser descargado en la computadora del usuario, por lo que en teoría no hay intercambio o entrega de productos, añadió Cubadebate.

Google hasn't been able to explain why it included among the services banned to Cuba Google Analytics, a free product -like its search engine and its email service-, that is web-based and doesn't require downloading by the user, which, in theory, means that no economic exchange or delivery of products has taken place, added Cubadebate.

In November of this year, Google's Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, said in an interview to The Wall Street Journal that Cuba was a top priority on his international travel agenda. Currently, Google only permits access to its search engine, chat, email, and other communication services that are authorized in section 515.578 of the regulations of the United States’ embargo on Cuba.


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