Business & Economy

Spanish news agency won’t leave Cuba on own initiative, says president Cañas

Madrid, Jan 19 (EFE).- The president of Spain’s Efe new agency Gabriela Cañas said the organization would not leave Cuba on its own initiative.

In a telephone interview with Voice of America, Cañas stressed the fact that Cuban authorities had revoked the credentials of some of Efe’s journalists in Havana, which prompted her to consider pulling out of the Caribbean island.

She also regretted the Cuban government’s decision to delay, without any explanation, the issuing of a press visa for the new bureau chief, who was appointed in July 2021 and has not yet been able to enter the country.

“We are rethinking our stay because they are forcing us to do so,” said the agency’s president, pointing out a decision must be taken over “the next few weeks.”

“Efe is not interested in leaving Cuba. It doesn’t want to. The problem is that they are kicking us out,” she added.

Cañas went on to say that Efe will continue to operate in Cuba as long as it is allowed to stay on the island.

Only two of the seven journalists who make up the Efe delegation in Havana have had their accreditations reinstated.

If this situation remains unchanged, Cañas stressed the need to get part of the team out of the country in order to keep offering the usual amount of news stories.

“That is not Efe’s will, but that of the Cuban authorities,” she reiterated.

“I would like to always keep people there, but it is more and more difficult. Because time passes and the Cuban authorities continue to not give us a solution when it comes to the press visa for the new bureau chief,” she explained.

Cañas continued to say that both the news agency and Spanish authorities believe that Efe should be in Cuba, where it has been reporting for 50 years. She pointed out that half of the news stories about Cuba published in Latin America come from Efe offices.

The president said she believed it would be very sad for Efe to lose its presence in Cuba.

“The message that would be delivered from Cuba would be very negative, not only for Spain and Efe, but also for freedom of expression,” she argued.

With the arrival of new Cuban ambassador Marcelino Medina in Madrid, Cañas hopes the conflict will be resolved through dialogue.

In November, Cuba’s International Press Center (IPC) withdrew the press accreditations of all Efe workers in Cuba.

Hours later, the IPC returned two accreditations to Efe journalists, one of whom must renew her work permit monthly.EFE


NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: The decisions of the Cuban authorities in recent months have reduced the strength of the Efe team in Havana, where currently only two journalists can continue to carry out their work. Efe hopes to be able to recover its full capacity on the island in the coming days.

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