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UN regrets delayed visas for Prensa Latina correspondents

UN regrets delayed visas for Prensa Latina correspondents

Havana, May 4 (Prensa Latina) The United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) considered inexplicable the delay by the United States to grant visas to Prensa Latina journalists accredited at the UN.
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UNCA President Valeria Robecco expressed by e-mail that she was surprised by the “inexplicable delay” in granting visas to the current correspondents, who have been waiting for more than two years without receiving a response.

That Cuban news agency has had an office for many years at the UN, where several correspondents have alternated and I really hope that the situation will be resolved as soon as possible, the Italian journalist said.

Over the past two years, the UNCA has contacted the US mission at the United Nations (USUN) to inquire about the status of visas for Ibis Frade and Ernesto Redonet.

The USUN initially stated that both were in “administrative processing,” but then it stopped replying to emails sent by the UNCA president.

Since December 2019, Prensa Latina correspondents accredited at the UN have been in Havana waiting for their visas, for which they have already applied twice, because one year after the application is submitted, the process automatically expires.

The United Nations Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU) renewed the accreditation of the two Prensa Latina correspondents, despite not having their category I visas for Foreign Media Representatives, one of the requirements requested in this process.

Likewise, both MALU and UNCA expressed their intention to preserve the Prensa Latina office in the UN building.

The UN Secretary General Spokesman Stephane Dujarric pointed out in September 2021, just days before the beginning of the high-level segment of the General Assembly, that the secretariat was aware of the Prensa Latina correspondents’ case.

“I have been in contact with them and it is a problem, I believe, that is being raised through the Host Country Committee,” he said.

In addition, the spokesman said, “I think it is important that all journalists covered by the Host Country Agreement be able to be here physically if they can.”

On repeated occasions, several UN member States, including Cuba, have charged that the United States often fails to comply with its obligations as the host country of the multilateral organization. In this regard, they have pointed out that the US cannot continue using this condition with impunity to enforce the Headquarters Agreement selectively and arbitrarily according to its political agenda.

Only eight days after the transmission of its first dispatch on June 16, 1959, Prensa Latina opened an office in New York, which had such an illustrious correspondents as Colombian writer and journalist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

Due to the persecution to which its journalists have been subjected, the New York office closed and the Latin American news agency had to remain only at the United Nations headquarters in New York since 1969, limited to providing coverage of the multilateral organization’s activities.

Since 2019, Prensa Latina correspondents have been accredited at the United Nations have been unable to return to their office in New York due to obstacles in the delivery of their visas.

Prensa Latina correspondents in Washington are in a similar situation, as when traveling to Cuba on vacation in 2019 they did not receive the visas to return.

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