Cuba Blocks 6 Journos From Attending FIU Workshop

By: E&P Staff

Cuban authorities arrested two independent journalists and detained four others in their home to prevent them from attending a videoconference journalism workshop run by Florida International University, an independent Cuban journalist reported through CubaNet Friday.

Journalist Jose Antonio Fornaris reported that Richard Rosello — one of the two journalists arrested and held by state security agents for several hours — was warned by the agents not to attend the workshop.

The six journalists were all detained or arrested Monday, when the conference took place in the offices of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.

And one of the four journalists prevented from leaving their homes told Fornaris that two agents who came to his home that Monday morning said “they had orders” to keep him from the workshop. The agents kept watch outside his home until after the workshop was scheduled to end, Gonzalez said, according to the account on CubaNet. CubaNet is a Miami-based non-profit organization that publishes online the work of independent journalists in Cuba. It receives U.S. government funding.

Since 1999, FIU has operated a distance learning program to train independent journalists in Cuba, which does not permit an independent press.

According to the CubaNet story, 27 independent journalists attended the workshop. FIU’s International Media Center, which is responsible for the workshops, says it has trained more than 200 journalists in Cuba in the program’s nine years.

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