Efe Agency President Gabriela Cañas said the multimedia news agency was mulling pulling out of Cuba after its journalists reported the government was attempting to “kick them out” by withdrawing their press accreditations.
"They are kicking us out of Cuba. With only two journalists, we cannot keep up with the quality standards that Efe Agency has offered up until now in the country. It's a great shame," Cañas said at a breakfast working group in Madrid organized by Nueva Economía.
Due to recent events, Cañas said the company was considering taking measures.
"We are beginning to consider our presence on the island. We cannot exercise journalism freely," the president lamented.
Despite the agency having no interest in leaving Cuba, the president said it may be necessary to "report from abroad."
Cañas added that the situation with the Cuban government had not been resolved despite diplomatic efforts from Madrid.
This summer seven journalists were working in Havana, but now only two — an editor and a cameraman — have press accreditation.
The agency began to face obstructions when the Cuban government delayed, without any explanation, the issuing of a press visa for a new correspondent who was appointed in July 2021 and who has not yet been able to enter the country.
In November Cuba’s International Press Center withdrew the press accreditations of all Efe workers in Cuba.
"We ran out of witnesses on the island," Cañas added.
Hours later, the CPI returned two accreditations to Efe journalists, but since then the situation has stalled.
Havana assured that it would return the accreditations out of "goodwill" in November, but this has yet to happen.
"We have asked them to let us work there a thousand times" to no avail, she said.
Efe Agency, which launched almost five decades ago, covers "almost 50% of the news" published in Latin America about Cuba.
Cañas guessed that it was "perhaps this resonance" that did not sit well with the Cuban government.
Efe’s president also discussed Radio Televisión Española —Spain’s state-owned television and radio broadcaster — and Efe’s intention to join forces on several projects looking to the future.
"RTVE and Efe work well together, they have the technological and audiovisual capacity and we have a broad reach," Cañas said.
"We have presence in 120 countries, we have around 500 journalists working abroad, so we are very complimentary, so much so that in some delegations, such as in Buenos Aires we already work together."
As well as collaborating to strengthen both companies’ news coverage, RTVE and Efe will synchronize efforts to forge a pioneering public college of journalism. EFE