Latin America, Multiculture

The battle between truth and lies

More than two decades ago, Prensa Latina was born. The continent’s first alternative media against the big information monopolies.


Orlando Oramas Leon


It emerged in June 1959 as a need to broadcast the truth of what was happening in Cuba. It was the time of a ferocious campaign of lies to delegitimise the Revolution that transformed the island and turned it into a paradigm for other peoples in the world.

It burst in “as an independent voice, belonging to Our America”, according to Fidel Castro, who encouraged its creation with Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, the Argentinian journalist, Ricardo Massetti, and other Latin American and Cuban colleagues.

They were very dangerous days for Cuba, and Prensa Latina would soon report on the preparation for the mercenary invasion of Cuba, which materialised in April 1961 through the Bay of Pigs, south of the island.

Then, the US agency, Associated Press (AP), spoke of the invaders’ successful landing at the non-existent port of Bayamo, an eastern town barely crossed by a river. It was like today, the battle between the truth and lies.

In that period, AP and United Press International (UPI) provided 100% of the news. Prensa Latina blazed their own trail in which they faced obstacles, threats, dangers and sieges, like those experienced by their correspondents during the coup d’état against President Salvador Allende in Chile, in September 1973.

Achievements against colonialism, the Vietnam war, the Sandinista triumph in Nicaragua and conflicts in the Middle East, among other milestones in contemporary history, had PL identified as their origin, in the first news line.

Prensa Latina, in these decades, became a voice for the oppressed, for social battles, of popular causes and victories; reporting on injustices, imperial aggressions, and neo-colonial preparations.

It was about an anti-hegemonic and liberating vision that persists, despite the attempts to silence it and the stumbling blocks imposed by the United States blockade of Cuba, where it is headquartered, and which has spread to other countries where it has more than 30 news outlets.

Nowadays, Prensa Latina offers broad coverage to the international health situation caused by Covid-19, including advances in Cuban science and essays from vaccine candidates who are trying to achieve immunisation for the population of the island and other parts of the world.

Sixty-two years after its birth, it is confirmed as an alternative media and, at the same time, a consolidated, multimedia organisation, including a publishing house, that is growing and with wide international recognition, expressed in agreements with about 100 agencies and media from every continent. As well as media, it makes its own way on social networks: on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Telegram. (PL)

(Translated by Donna Davison – Email: – Photos: Pixabay

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