Cuba Follows Expulsion of `Chicago Trib? Reporter By Booting Mexican Journo

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Cuban authorities — who earlier this week ordered Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent Gary Marx to pack up and leave the island — told the correspondent for the big Mexico City daily El Universal that he is being expelled, too.

El Universal reported Friday that its correspondent C?sar Gonz?lez-Calero has been notified his reporting credentials will not be renewed, for essentially the same reason Marx must leave — “focusing reporting in a way that does not comport with the Cuban government.?

Marx earlier this week said he had been told his reporting was ?negative,? though Cuban officials did not cite any specific examples. Marx had been a correspondent in Cuba since 2002. The Tribune is one of just four U.S. news organizations with a permanent bureau in Cuba. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, another Tribune Co. paper, has a reporter in the bureau, and the authorities said the Chicago Tribune could send another reporter.

Marx was given 90 days to leave the island, but told Tribune media reporter Phil Rosenthal that the authorities promised to be ?flexible? about the expulsion since he planned to leave in June when his school-age children completed their terms.

The expulsion of the El Universal reporter was condemned by the newspaper, Mexican legislators, and press-freedom groups.

Roberto Rock, the newspaper?s vice president and general editorial director, called it ?an attack on a free press? and an attempt to intimidate reporters.

Cuba has also told BBC television correspondent Stephen Gibbs that his accreditation will not be renewed.

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