U.S. says it's committed to helping Cubans access internet

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People connect to the internet in Havana, Cuba, December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

WASHINGTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments said Wednesday the U.S. government is committed to supporting the Cuban people's access to the internet and open to issuing additional authorizations if needed.

Last month, the State Department said the U.S. government is working with the private sector and Congress to look for ways to make the internet more accessible to the people of Cuba. Ideas suggested by some U.S. politicians include using satellite-based networks or high-altitude balloons to enable internet access.

The Cuban government briefly blocked access to the internet last month as thousands joined nationwide protests over shortages of basic goods, limits on civil liberties and the government's handling of a surge in COVID-19 infections.

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Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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