Panamanian journalists demand US visas for Prensa Latina

Regarding the delayed process around which the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) spoke the day before, the Secretary General of that union in the isthmus, Filemón Medina, indicated that “it is inadmissible that acts like this happen in the country that calls itself the cradle of democracy.”

“We feel solidarity with Prensa Latina, as we do with all professionals in our country and internationally, in defense of a democracy that is sustained by free expression and diversity of ideas and ways of thinking,” he added.

In this sense, the communicator demanded that the necessary visas be delivered to colleagues Ibis Frade and Ernesto Redonet, duly accredited before the organization based in New York City.

He demanded that these professionals be allowed to exercise objective and independent journalism, and thus fulfill the right of people to be informed and to be able to express themselves with a free and different thought.

Medina affirmed that from the SP, founded in 1949, a call is made to the competent North American authorities so that they grant or deny the visas; that is to say that they give a concrete answer to a protracted procedure for no reason, and that the exercise of the professional activity of the prestigious information agency is not left in a legal limbo.

“We expect a prompt statement on the matter and that this enables the right of access to different ideas and thoughts, from the diversity of media outlets that work within the United Nations,” he remarked.

In the canal nation, other media such as the Bayano Digital newspaper and El Periódico de Panamá reproduced the UNCA demand, which considered this delay inexplicable.

On repeated occasions, several member states of the UN, including Cuba, have denounced that the United States usually fails to comply with its obligations as the host country of the multilateral organization.

In this regard, they point out that the northern nation cannot continue to use that condition with impunity to selectively and arbitrarily apply the Headquarters Agreement based on its political agenda.

Just eight days after the transmission of its first dispatch on June 16, 1959, Prensa Latina opened an office in New York, which had a pen as illustrious as that of the Colombian writer and journalist Gabriel García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

Due to the persecution to which its journalists were subjected, the office in New York closed and the Latin American news agency had to stay only at the United Nations headquarters in New York from 1969, limited to covering the activities of the organization multilateral.

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

In a similar situation are the correspondents of Prensa Latina in Washington, who, when traveling to Cuba on vacation in 2019, did not receive a visa to return.


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Panamanian journalists demand US visas for Prensa Latina