Cuban Embassy in Spain Hides Behind Covid to Ignore the Call of the Spanish Government

José Manuel Albares, Spanish Foreign Minister, upon his arrival at the EU Foreign Minister’s Summit this Monday in Brussels. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Brussels, 15 November 2021 —  The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, assured this Monday that Spain “will not give up” until the Cuban authorities return “all credentials” to all journalists from the Efe Agency in Havana, stripped of them on Saturday without receiving an explanation.

The Secretary of State for Latin America and the Caribbean and Spanish in the World, Juan Fernández Trigo, summoned this Sunday the Cuban Embassy’s charge d’affaires in Madrid, Eumelio Caballero.

However, Caballero will not attend the urgent call reporting, by sending a medical certificate, that he has covid. Upon receiving the document, both spoke by phone and he was told “the unacceptability of this situation and the need for all credentials to be returned.”

“They have returned two for the moment, but we are not going to give up on asking for all credentials to be returned,” Albares told the press upon arrival at a Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union in Brussels.

The restitution of these press credentials is something that Spain “continues to demand”: “We are doing it from the first moment, from the moment we have learned of this situation,” he explained.

“It does not seem acceptable to us that credentials are withdrawn for no reason. Freedom of the press in any country in the world is vital,” Albares emphasized.

The head of Spanish diplomacy stressed that they have not received “any” explanation from the Cuban authorities about the measure against the Efe team in Havana, adding that “we have simply managed to have two credentials returned and we are waiting for them to return the others.”

The decision of the Cuban authorities occurs at a delicate moment in the country, with a Civic March called by the opposition for this Monday, a march that has been outlawed by the Government.

On Saturday, the heads of the International Press Center (CPI) of Cuba urgently summoned the Efe team in Havana that is currently accredited — three editors, a photographer and a TV camera operator — to inform them that their credentials were withdrawn without clarifying whether the measure is temporary or permanent.

But this Sunday they restored the press accreditations to only two of Efe’s journalists in Havana.


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