By BARRY HATTON, Associated Press
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Spain’s foreign minister on Sunday summoned Cuba’s top diplomat in Madrid to explain why Havana revoked the press credentials of five journalists on the island working for Spanish state news agency Efe.
The Spanish embassy in Havana is also working with Cuban authorities to ensure the return of the Efe team’s credentials, which they need in order to work in Cuba, Spanish diplomatic sources told The Associated Press.
Efe said Cuban officials offered no explanation about why — or until when — they were revoking the credentials of three reporters, a photographer and a cameraman. Later Sunday, amid a diplomatic backlash about the move, Cuban authorities returned credentials to two of the journalists.
The Cuban government’s measure late Saturday came two days before a planned opposition protest march Monday in Cuba that the government has outlawed but that organizers have urged people to join anyway.
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Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares summoned Cuba’s charge d’affaires for a meeting “first thing” on Monday morning, a Spanish diplomatic source said. Cuba currently has no ambassador in Madrid. The source spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with foreign ministry rules.
The Federation of Spanish Journalists’ Associations said Cuba’s measure was “a clear violation of international norms on freedom of the press” and urged the Cuban government to reconsider.
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