Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Bienvenidos, AP

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Bienvenidos, AP

Article excerpt

Cuban President Fidel Castro is proving again how mercurial a despot he can be. Just two weeks after haranguing visiting U.S. newspaper editors about the perfidy of American journalists -- and leaving them with the distinct impression he would not allow any print news organizations to establish a permanent Cuban bureau -- Castro is welcoming The Associated Press back on the island.

Months of discreet talks with the Cuban government paid off for AP, whose top executives learned of the approval during a visit to Havana last week. AP president and CEO Louis D. Boccardi says the bureau could be up and running within a few weeks -- 29 years after Cuban authorities gave AP Havana correspondent Fenton Wheeler two hours to pack up and leave the country. In all that time, no American print reporter has been allowed to set up permanent offices in Cuba.

In his four decades as Cuba's maximum leader, Castro has undergone more mood swings than Sybil in regression therapy. He's whirled economic policy around so many times, it is no wonder the country is flat on its back. So it is with journalism. After freezing out American journalists for decades, he relented a little bit by allowing CNN to set up a bureau last year. …

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