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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Havana based foreign correspondents ordered to leave Cuba

Posted February 26, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders today condemned Cuba’s decision yesterday not to renew the visas of Gary Marx, the US correspondent of the Chicago Tribune newspaper, and Cesar Gonz├íles-Calero, the Spanish correspondent of the Mexico-City based El Universal newspaper. Their accreditation has been withdrawn and they have been told to leave the country. At the same time, BBC correspondent Stephen Gibbs was refused an entry visa yesterday.

“When the Cuban authorities are not cracking down on Cuba’s independent journalists, they target foreign correspondents,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The reasons for these expulsions are clear. The Cuban regime is hard put to understand that the press is not a propaganda tool. It should realise the foreign media is not there to please any government, any more than Cuba’s own media should be.”

Marx, who has been in Cuba since 2002, was told his reporting was “too negative.” The authorities said he had been in the country “long enough” and gave him 90 days to leave with his family. Marx said he had anyway been planning to leave Cuba in mid-June when his children, aged 8 and 10, finished the school year. He is one of the very few US journalists to be allowed to reside in Havana. The authorities have nonetheless indicated they would considered a request for accreditation from another Chicago Tribune reporter.

Gonz├íles-Calero, who has been in Cuba since April 2003, said: “Their explanation was that my coverage of the Cuban situation was not convenient for the Cuban government.” The authorities told him to stop reporting on 28 February. El Universal vice-president Roberto Rock said the newspaper would lodge an official complaint with the Cuban government.

Seven foreign journalists were turned back on arrival in Cuba last year and an eighth was expelled.

Member Comments

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On February 26, 2007, publisher wrote:

So much for Raul’s call for open dialog about the Cuban government’s operations.

Hard to have open dialog when a legitimate independent news source gets kicked out of the country.

I am getting the sense (from the news, my sources in Cuba and abroad) that Raul is publicly hinting at reforms yet strangling business, political and travel freedoms behind the scenes.

Any thoughts.

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On February 27, 2007, J. Perez wrote:

It certainly is alarming and definitely not very smart, it’s difficult to figure out what their motivations are for some of these actions which show no rime or reason. One thing is for sure, Raul & co. are going to have to do better than that if they want to reach out and make new friends, while they keep their old ones. It is a new century, the old ideas do not work anymore, wether for the U.S. or Cuba.

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On February 27, 2007, publisher wrote:

J Perez,

You are making too much sense. There is no room for that kind of logic in Cuba. grin

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On February 27, 2007, J. Perez wrote:

We must not loose hope Publisher, I believe realities are going to smack these guys right in their faces and change will come, however, perhaps Raul is not the right man to bring it about. On the other hand, how easy would it be for the U.S. to call their bluff and say, Ok. you want us to lift the embargo, what are you giving us in return?

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On March 01, 2007, Pete Chavez wrote:

Geez, unbelievable, unbelievable.  It’s almost like watching a dialogue between two University of Havana students.  One is sober, worldly and realistic.  The other is naive, trusting and wishfull.  Oh and I forgot,
IT’S ALSO 1961!!!!!!

J.Perez,
I think we should not lose hope that Cuba will one day be a free land for you and me to enjoy but I think it’s been at least 30 years now where it is perfectly ok to lose hope that those two assholes known as the Castro Brothers are not going to do anything (EVER!) to make Cuba a place where any Cuban can feel like a full fledged human being with all the rights and dignities afforded to us here and elsewhere in world.

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On April 03, 2007, Jessica wrote:

Nice site. Great work.

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On April 03, 2007, Kronix wrote:

Thank you! Great work, i have added it in bookmarks.