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The US accused the dictatorships of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela of criminalizing free journalism

The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, accused Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela on Tuesday of criminalizing free journalism, within the framework of the Summit of the Americas that is taking place this week in Los Angeles, United States.

“In Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, the simple act of doing independent journalism is a crime,” said the US Secretary of State, pointing to the three countries that US President Joe Biden excluded from the summit for “not respecting the democracy”, according to the Bloomberg agency.

Blinken argued that “when independent journalists are attacked, when they are persecuted, when they are imprisoned, when they are attacked in any other way, the chilling effects go far beyond the immediate victims,” the agency reported.

On the other hand, the Secretary of State assured that the Biden Administration has financed with 28 million euros some initiatives and news organizations of public interest in “unstable and low-resource environments”, and that it will provide up to 8.5 million euros for defend journalists accused of defamation.

The exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas raised the indignation of other countries that had been invited. In this sense, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, made the decision not to attend the event in protest and accused the United States of “continuing the old policy of interventionism.”

For his part, former Bolivian President Evo Morales assured that the summit was “born dead” after the decision of the US government.

In this context, Morales pointed out that there are other “brother presidents” who have not attended the forum as a sign of rejection of the “arbitrary and unilateral exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua by the United States.”

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For its part, the Organization of American States announced the creation of the Center for Media Integrity of the Americas within the framework of the organization’s Summit held this week in the city of Los Angeles.

The initiative seeks to “financially encourage the practice of independent journalism and that is not associated with particular interests, as well as the production of content for social networks throughout the Americas,” says the Agency’s note on the subject.

The OAS considers that democracy is unquestionably under siege in many countries of the Americas, “and its consolidation since the 1970s has been uneven. Multiple polls and academic studies have concluded that democratic backsliding and deficits are dangerous realities in the hemisphere today.”

“Journalistic reporting and analysis, both factual and impartial, are essential to any healthy and prosperous democracy. This, too, is under siege in all OAS member states,” he adds.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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