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As Cuba Protests UNCA & Falk, Any Spin They're For Free Speech Is Laughable

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNdisclosed Location, March 20 -- Cuba has protested to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the use of UN space for an event sponsored by the UN Correspondents Association and its president Pamela Falk of CBS.

  If the past is any guide, the big media controllers of UNCA will try to spin the protest as proof that they stand for free speech.

  But they don't. The UNCA Executive Committee spent most of its meetings in 2012 trying to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN.

  Documents obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act from Voice of America show a direct request to the UN's Stephane Dujarric to “review” the accreditation of Inner City Press by VOA, which said it had the support of Reuters and Agence France Presse.

Most recently, when the UN conducted a non-consensual search of Inner City Press' office on March 18, UNCA's Falk was there takin photographs.

  Despite requests for an explanation, at the UN noon briefing of March 19 and from the UK, there has been no explanation.

   Of Falk, Cuba's Permanent Representative Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez has written to Ban, “this anti-Cuba action by the current President of UNCA does not surprise us. Such lady does not have the slightest ethics to separate the discharge of her mandate as President of the UNCA from the fulfillment of her personal interests and motivations.” Falk refuses to answer questions.

  The question has been raised why this UNCA is given special status and space by the UN. Even the kitchenette in the renovated UN third floor is slated to be called the “UNCA Pantry;” the room for journalist is called the “UNCA Club.”

  The new Free UN Coalition for Access, launched on December 7, 2012 by two people elected to UNCA's Executive Committee in 2012 but who quit after, as one of them said, finding the organization “totally corrupt,” has suggested that that space should be called UN Journalists club, and UNCA not have the key and lock it up.

   UNCA does not distribute its information to those who don't pay it, or attend its $250 a plate dinner; its Executive Committee does not even share information with other UNCA members.

  They met with Ban Ki-moon, got quotes but refused to provide a tape or transcript, including on issues of Sudan and the Congo, which Ban's spokesman told Inner City Press came up.

  This is the UN's Censorship Alliance - given UNCA's recent record, any claims that it represents free speech are laughable. And if the UN continues to “partner” with it and give it special status, it further corrupts both organization. Watch this site.

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