The Cuban authorities on Saturday withdrew the press accreditations of the Efe Agency journalists in Cuba, on the eve of the outlawed civic march on Monday, November 15 to demand a political change on the island, and they have warned them that they cannot continue to do your job from now on.
The heads of the International Press Center (CPI) urgently summoned the team of the news agency in Havana, which currently consists of three editors, a photographer and a cameraman, to inform them that their credentials were being withdrawn. All this, without clarifying whether the measure is temporary or permanent, or the reasons for it. As reported by the coordinator of the correspondent, Atahualpa Amerise, the editor Laura Becquer and the cameraman Felipe Borrego now have their documents again, after negotiations between the agency and the CPI and between the Spanish embassy and the Cuban Foreign Ministry.
The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation has summoned this Monday “first thing in the morning” the charge d’affaires of Cuba in Spain to ask for “explanations” for the decision of the Cuban authorities. In addition, the Spanish embassy in Havana is also “making arrangements with the Cuban authorities to return the credentials to Efe journalists so that they can carry out their work,” say diplomatic sources consulted by Europa Press.
The president of Efe, Gabriela Cañas, has asked the Cuban government to “reconsider” its decision, since the agency is “an objective and responsible medium that has reported on the island for more than 40 years and does not understand the reasons for this measure. “. The Editorial Board, the body that supervises the reporters of this medium, has expressed its support for the workers of its delegation in Havana and asks for the return of their press credentials to be able to do their work without restrictions.
The European Union has also requested this Sunday “clarifications” to the Cuban authorities, considering that it could represent a “serious violation of freedom of expression.” The spokeswoman for the EU’s high representative for Foreign Policy, Nabila Massrali, has indicated that they are “investigating” what happened.
Various journalists’ associations have shown their rejection of this measure. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has considered the decision of the Cuban authorities as “an unacceptable attack on freedom of information.” The Federation of Associations of Journalists of Spain (FAPA) has indicated that this measure is “a clear violation of international standards on freedom of the press.” The network of women communicators of International ACM condemned “strongly” the decision of the Government of Cuba and from Rome, the World Association of Women Journalists and Writers (AMMPE) asked its associates “to make their voice heard” in the face of what it considered “a serious attack on freedom of the press “.
Havana’s decision comes at a delicate moment in Cuba, with a civic march called by the opposition for this Monday, a day after the country reopens its borders to tourism, in order to demand a political change on the island. The protest has been outlawed by the Cuban government.
This is the first time that Cuba has withdrawn the credentials of the Efe Agency and there is no record that this measure has been adopted on another occasion with an international news agency on the island. A month and a half ago, the island’s authorities did withdraw the accreditation of Efe’s editorial coordinator in Havana.