Cuba eliminates Spanish-CNN from cable TV

11:16, January 15, 2011      

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Cuba eliminated the U.S channel Spanish-CNN from the cable TV package provided to hotels and foreign companies on the island, an official from the state-owned International Telecable Co. confirmed Friday.

"It was decided not to transmit anymore the Spanish-CNN on cable television, as a company policy. This service has been retired from all the clients who purchased this service in the country," the source told Xinhua, without giving further details

Telecable Co., the only one that provides the service in Cuba, stopped broadcasting Spanish-CNN on Jan. 6 and many customers thought it was a technical problem, but Telecable confirmed "it was a decision."

The channel can now only be captured via satellite, a service that the company supplies to a small group of customers mainly foreigners, including embassies, at a price of about 1,500 dollars a year, three times more exprensive than cable television. However, Telecable keeps its English-CNN cable TV service.

CNN opened its office in Cuba in 1997, with a correspondent who reports for both English and Spanish services. In recent months, Cuban official media have been acussing the Spanish-CNN "of paarticipating in a media campaign against Cuba, and also of being under the increasing influence of the anti-Castro exiles in Miami."

International Telecable, owned by the State Corporation CIMEX, manages the distribution of direct, cable and interactive television signals, for hotels and tourist facilities, commercial enterprises and government agencies, according to its website.

Cubans only receive the national media, all state owned, and can not legally access the cable or satellite television services, which are only allowed on the island to the state agencies, tourist facilities, foreign companies, foreign residents or diplomatic missions, by payment in "hard" currency, dollars or Cuban convertible pesos.

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