On June 16, Cuban news agency, Prensa Latina (PL), celebrated its 61st anniversary. On June 16, 1959, the news organisation transmitted its first news report, which was circulated in over 11 countries across Latin America and the Carribean. Prensa Latina is one of the first people-centered news media organisations in the Americas. For the past six decades, it has been working to serve the truth and spread an emancipatory and anti-hegemonic view of the world.
PL was born after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. In the face of the disinformation campaigns against Cuba and Cuban Revolution by large international news agencies, Commander Fidel Castro proposed to have an alternative voice. In March 1959, Commander Ernesto Che Guevara and Argentinian journalist Jorge Ricardo Masetti founded the agency, with the purpose of countering the campaign of false news and defamation by the hegemonic mass media and spreading the true reality of the country as well as the continent.
In honor of the agency’s 61st anniversary, several national and international political leaders and social organisations congratulated Prensa Latina for the stupendous work.
Cuban President, Miguel Díaz Canel, wrote in a tweet: “Prensa Latina: 61 years of honest service to the truth, founded by Che and Massetti. First voice of the voiceless from Latin America and the Third World. They continue to make history in the age of multimedia. They continue to honor the best Latin American journalism.”
Likewise, Pedro Villalba, the director of the Center for Our American Studies in Bolivia, congratulated Prensa Latina for “always bringing the truth to the world and liberating our peoples with information.”
Similarly, the French Association Cuba Linda praised the agency for “bringing forward the voice of the people who fight for justice and for a better world for all.”
Praising the agency’s contribution and highlighting its importance in the present times, former director of PL, Gustavo Robreño, said “despite the fact that so much time has passed, the lies against the island persist and, thus, the obligation to face disinformation campaigns against Cuba and other nations remains intact.”
The blockade imposed against the country by the US hinders the work of PL’s correspondent offices abroad, and many correspondents face harassment faced in different countries due to the 6-decade campaign of stigmatisation also led by the US. In spite of this, PL produces more than 400 news dispatches from across the globe everyday in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Russian, Italian and French, together with radio and television services. It is a consolidated and growing multimedia organisation with wide international recognition. It has 40 permanent correspondents in 39 countries across the globe. In addition, it has agreements with almost a hundred news agencies and media houses from all continents.
At a time when the far-right is gaining power in the region and promoting neoliberal policies at the service of the imperialist forces and transnational companies, the people-centered work of Prensa Latina is even more important. The agency remains faithful to journalism, committed to the truth and ideas that it defended from its inception.