Cuba says 'hasta la vista' to CNN en Espanol

14th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

CNN's Spanish language channel will no longer be carried by Cuba's sole cable TV provider, an official with the state-run Telecable network told AFP on Friday.

CNN en Espanol was available to cable television subscribers in hotels, tourist centers, and the offices of foreign companies.

When it suddenly went off the off the air on January 6 but most people assumed it was due to a technical glitch that would be fixed. But a Telecable official said the cancelation is permanent.

"The company has decided to no longer broadcast CNN on cable television," a Telecable official told AFP, giving no further details.

Viewers hankering for their Cable News Network fix can still watch the 24-hour news channel CNN International, as well as its it sister channel Headline News, both in English.

Or they can pay Telecable 1,500 dollars a year -- three times the cost of a cable TV subscription -- for a satellite dish. The service however is limited to foreigners, including embassies.

In the last months state-run Cuban media has accused the Atlanta, Georgia-based CNN En Espanol of being part of a media campaign against Cuba.

According to Cuban media, the network is increasingly influenced by the regime's nemesis -- Florida-based right-wing anti-Castro exiles.

CNN opened its office in Cuba in 1997, and its correspondent filed reports for both the English and Spanish language services.

Some Cubans get around the viewing restrictions by surreptitiously owning satellite TV equipment, but are generally more interested in watching regional Spanish-language TV stations that broadcast soap operas and variety shows.

© 2011 AFP

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