Madrid, Nov 15 (EFE).- The Cuban government should restore full accreditation to journalists from Spain’s Efe news agency in Havana in order to continue their work without limitations, as has been the case for the last four decades, the president of the organization, Gabriela Cañas, said Monday.
“I hope that the Cuban government decides today to give back all accreditation for Efe,” Cañas said of the incident in statements to the agency on Monday. “We need to develop our work there in freedom, as we have done for the last 40 years.”
Cuban authorities on Saturday revoked the credentials of three reporters, a photographer and a videographer working at Efe’s Havana bureau but reinstated two permits the following day, which the head of the agency described as “insufficient.”
Officials gave no explanation for the decision, which came just days before an unsanctioned pro-democracy protest that is due to take place Monday, and six weeks after the Cuban Press Center withdrew accreditation from the Efe bureau chief.
Cañas said that the withdrawal of Efe employees’ accreditation was a breach of press freedom.
“We need to work there with freedom, we need to inform the world about Cuba, the good things and the bad things,” she added.
She dismissed accusations from Cuban authorities that the news agency was working on behalf of “foreign powers” and described them as “groundless.”
Spain’s Efe news agency is a public company that receives funding from the Spanish state as well as income through commercial activity.
Asked whether she considered the actions of the Cuban government to be a form of censorship, Cañas responded: “If you have journalists on the ground and they are not able to work, their work is being censored, it is being impeded, call it what you like.”
Cañas acknowledged that reporting in certain parts of the work was “especially difficult.”
“But (in Cuba) we have been doing it for a long time with full independence.”