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Cuba won’t give visas to journalists seen as Castro critics

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Cuba won't give visas to journalists seen as Castro critics 01/26/98 CUBA--Cuba has refused to grant journalist visas to a…

Cuba won’t give visas to journalists seen as Castro critics

01/26/98

CUBA–Cuba has refused to grant journalist visas to a number of foreign reporters hoping to cover Pope John Paul II’s late January visit to the country. The Miami Herald reported less than a week before the pope’s visit that more than 60 reporters, more than half from the city of Miami, were not given Cuban visas.

“We have no visas at all,” said Herald publisher David Lawrence Jr. The Herald and its sister Spanish-language newspaper, El Nuevo Herald, planned to send 16 journalists to Cuba.

One Mexican and three Argentine journalists also had not received visas, The Associated Press reported.

Lawrence said he sent Herald reporters to Cuba to cover the story, but added that he would not disclose how the journalists got to the Caribbean island.

The last time Cuba granted a journalist visa to a Herald reporter was April 1996, he said.

Cuban officials said more than 3,000 foreign journalists were granted visas, according to the AP. Foreign media organizations have said that Cuba denies journalist visas to reporters who file what it considers negative reports, AP reported, prompting some news organizations to send reporters to Cuba with tourist visas.