Spanish News Agency EFE Plans to Leave Cuba if the Government Does Not Let It Do ItsWork

Gabriela Cañas spoke at a working breakfast in Madrid organized by Nueva Economía, where she described the situation of the EFE agency in Cuba. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger (via 14ymedio), Madrid, 12 January 2022 — The president of EFE, Gabriela Cañas, lamented this Wednesday that it seems that the Cuban government is “throwing out” the media outlet with the withdrawal of accreditations from its journalists in Havana. She said that the Spanish news agency is beginning to consider whether to stay on the island.

Cañas made these statements while speaking at a working breakfast in Madrid organized by Nueva Economía, in which she pointed out that “almost 50% of the news” published in Latin America about Cuba comes from EFE, which has been in business in the country for almost five decades. She added that “perhaps this repercussion” does not please the Cuban government.

“They are kicking us out of Cuba. Currently, with only two journalists, we cannot maintain the quality standards that the EFE Agency has offered up to now in the country. It is very painful,” said Cañas.

For this reason, she said that the company is studying its options: “We are beginning to consider our permanence on the island. We cannot practice journalism freely,” the president stressed, adding that EFE has no interest in leaving Cuba, but perhaps it is necessary to “report from the outside.”

Cañas said that “unfortunately” the situation with the Cuban government has not been resolved despite the diplomatic support of the Spanish Executive. In mid-2021 there were seven journalists working in Havana, now there are only two — an editor and a cameraman — have press accreditation.

The complications for the agency began when the Cuban government began to delay without explanation the granting of the press visa of the new delegate, appointed in July of last year, and who has not yet been able to enter the country.

Cuba’s International Press Center (CPI) withdrew the accreditations of all EFE workers in Cuba. “We are left without witnesses on the island,” she said.

Hours later the CPI returned two accreditations, but since then the situation has stalled. Havana assured that it would return the accreditations “for good will,” as EFE reported in November, but so far this has not happened.

“We have asked a thousand times to let us work there,” she said.


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