Netflix launches in Cuba today

Netflix now available in Cuba

Amid thawing relations between the U.S. and Cuba, the island nation is gaining something many Americans know and love: Netflix.

Netflix announced Monday that it had extended its streaming service to Cuba just weeks after U.S. and Cuban officials met for talks on starting to normalize relations. The move comes as Internet access on the island improves and international credit and debit card companies become more widely available in the country.

About 27% of Cuba's population has access to the Internet, according to Internet Live Stats, which the Associated Press reported uses information from the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations and the World Bank to estimate Internet users worldwide.

Cubans with an Internet connection and access to international payment methods will be able to subscribe to Netflix streaming for $7.99 a month starting Monday, the Los Gatos, Calif., company said.

"We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world," said Reed Hastings, Netflix's co-founder and chief executive.

Last month, the Obama administration relaxed U.S. restrictions on trade and remittances in Cuba, including the use of U.S. credit and debit cards. The package of new Treasury and Commerce Department regulations came as part of the plan to normalize relations.

Netflix began offering its service in Latin America in 2011 and counts more than 5 million subscribers in the region.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

10:30 a.m.: This article has been updated with details about the Netflix announcement.

This article was originally published at 9:17 a.m.

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