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Cuba accuses Reuters journalist of collaborating with CIA

UPDATED BELOW

Cuban state-television is accusing a former Reuters bureau chief of serving as a liaison for CIA intelligence, reported the Associated Press.

The journalist in question, Anthony Boadle, who now works as a Reuters editor in Washington, was stationed in Cuba from 2002-2008, during which time he "published reports favouring local counterrevolutionaries and the interests of the United States and the European Union," Cuban television said.

The accusations that Boadle collaborated with CIA undercover agents and operatives were made during a Cuban state-television program called "Cuba's Reasons" that, in the style of real-crime drama, documents supposed plots against the island. Most recently episodes have been focusing on Washington's "cyberwar" against the country, the Associated Press and Reuters explained.

State-run media on the island often denounce foreign news as biased. Granma, the Communist party newspaper, ran an editorial in February criticizing the Wall Street Journal's editorial, "Will Cuba be the next Egypt?" Cuba also criticized CNN in Spanish for reporting that Egypt-like protests were supposed to take place in Havana. They never materialized.

Also, in January, CNN in Spanish was removed from Cuba's cable channels available to hotels and foreign diplomats and businesses.

And in March, a US AID subcontractor from Maryland, Alan Gross, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for illegally bringing computer equipment and satellite phones to Jewish groups on the island to help them communicate internationally, the Washington Post and Miami Herald said.

UPDATE: Reuters on Tuesday denied the accusations leveled against Boadle, the Associated Press reported.

"Reuters refutes the allegations of the report, and stands firmly on its 160 years of accurate and unbiased reporting in Cuba and around the world," said Erin Kurtz, a spokesperson for Thomson Reuters, as quoted by the Associated Press.

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Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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