TV Marti Reporters Barred from Press Conference

The U.S. government is in the process of opening up relations with Cuba, but the Cuban government apparently isn't so keen on opening up to the U.S. government-backed media, at least according to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees funding of those international outlets.

According to BBG, over the weekend Cuban security officials forced TV Marti reporter Karen Caballero and her cameraman, Rudy Hernandez, out of a press conference with the Cuban foreign minister about the historic summit (Summit of the Americas in Panama City) and meeting between President Obama and Cuban President Castro. Both journalists were credentialed to cover the summit, said BBG, which operates TV Marti.

They were reportedly told to leave because the Cubans want "unbiased, serious press that wants unity." TV Marti, and its radio counterpart, were launched in 1983 under President Ronald Reagan to deliver an alternative news source to the Cuban government-controlled state media.

"The fact that Karen and Rudy were forced out of the press conference is further indication of the ongoing lack of press freedom in Cuba," said Carlos García Pérez, director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.

CNN en Español, which was allowed to cover the event, also covered the expulsion of the journalists.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.