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Blinken Slams Cuba, Venezuela Repression as LA Summit Kicks Off

  • Nations make doing journalism a crime, secretary of state says
  • Top diplomat criticizes El Salvador for quashing free speech
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Secretary of State Antony Blinken slammed Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and El Salvador for repressing journalists as the US kicked off a summit of leaders from Latin America in Los Angeles, with tensions between Washington and the region’s authoritarian nations hanging over the event.

In a speech on media freedoms in the hemisphere, Blinken singled out the countries  -- whose heads of state weren’t invited or planned to skip the summit  -- for jailing and harassing journalists as well as passing laws that curtail press freedoms.