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August 2015
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NPC Urges Kerry to Focus on Press Freedom in Cuba

NPC Urges Kerry to Focus on Press Freedom in Cuba
Published: Aug 12, 2015 10:55 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Press
Club on Wednesday called on Secretary of State John Kerry to make press
freedom and the expansion of Internet access in Cuba a priority in his
department’s engagements with the Castro regime.

The secretary will become the highest-ranking U.S. official in decades
to visit Cuba when he travels to the Caribbean nation on Friday, Aug. 14
to take part in the ceremonial re-opening of the U.S. embassy in Havana.
The United States and Cuba resumed diplomatic relations earlier this
summer and President Barack Obama is urging Congress to lift the
half-century old trade embargo on the country.

“Encouraging freedom of the press and freedom of information should be
cornerstones of the U.S. government’s reengagement policy with Cuba,”
said NPC President John Hughes. “It’s hard to imagine human rights,
labor conditions, and corruption in the country getting any better
absent the public accounting that comes with a reasonably free press.
Therefore, the United States should use all tools at its disposal,
including diplomatic and economic, to support unrestricted reporting and
the dissemination of information in Cuba.”

This year, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists ranked
Cuba the 10th most censored country in the world and the worst country
in the Americas for press freedom. Only a small percentage of the
population has access to the Internet and some content is blocked. The
small number of Web-based independent journalists working in the island
country face harassment, surveillance and short-term imprisonment,
according to the press rights group.

Print and broadcast outlets in Cuba are entirely under the control of
the Communist government, according to CPJ. Local law requires that
reporting must be “in accordance with the goals of the socialist society.”

Established in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading
professional organization for journalists. Through its Freedom of the
Press Committee, NPC advocates for journalists under siege abroad and at

Contact: John Donnelly at 202-746-6020

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To view the original version on PR Newswire,

SOURCE National Press Club

Source: NPC Urges Kerry to Focus on Press Freedom in Cuba – MarketWatch

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