U.S. changes course; grants visas to Cuban journalists

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department announced it decided to issue visas to two Cuban journalists who had previously been denied reentry into the U.S.

As a footnote to the transcript of spokesman Sean McCormack’s discussion about the case of Cuban journalists Ilsa Rodriguez Santana and her husband, Tomas Anael Granados Jimenez, which was reviewed by CPJ, he said that “in accordance with our U.N. headquarters agreement, we have decided to issue visas to the two individuals in question.” 

The Cuban news agency Prensa Latina reported on September 29 that Rodriguez and Granados, both of whom have covered the United Nations in New York since 2005 with accreditation, learned that they had been denied U.S. visas while on vacation in Cuba. According to a Havana spokeswoman for the agency, U.S. authorities did not renew the journalists’ visas under a clause of the Immigration and Nationality Act that can deny entry to any person or group considered prejudicial to the interests of the United States. On September 30, CPJ called on the U.S. government to explain its decision not to renew Rodriguez and Granados’ visas.