Exiled photographer reminds us why a free press needs protecting

July 11, 2012 | By Jonathan Klein | Community, News, Photography, Photojournalism, Who We Support

Exiled Cuban Photographer Omar Rodriguez Saludes was profiled on the NY Times Lens blog yesterday, in a post by David Gonzalez. If you haven’t yet read it, I suggest you do, as it sheds a bright light not only on the injustices of a repressive regime, but also the courage it takes for a photographer to be the voice of his people – to keep shooting.


(FromL) Cuban dissidents Omar Rodrigues Saludes, Normando Hernandez Gonzalez, Julio Cesar Galvez Rodriguez, Ricardo Gonzalez Alfonso, Jose Luis Garcia Paneque and Lester Gonzalez give a press conference in Madrid on July 15, 2010. Seven Cuban dissidents arrived in Spain on July 14, 2010, following Cuba’s surprise deal with the Roman Catholic Church on July 7 to gradually free 52 detainees after dissident hunger striker Guillermo Farinas nearly starved to death. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

Rodriguez Saludes also blogged about regaining his freedom for the Committee to Protect Journalists, detailing his release from prison arranged two years ago this month in a deal between the Catholic Church and the Cuban government. In his post, he writes:

“To clear up any uncertainties, [the security agent] asked me pointblank if I wanted to travel to Spain or not. My answer was categorical: ‘No,’ I said. ‘You know all too well that it has never been my intention to abandon Cuba.’ Following a brief exchange, the agent assured me that I would be granted a family visit as soon as possible.

The next day, at 3 in the afternoon, I received a visit from my wife and my eldest son. We were given barely 30 minutes to decide our fates. I explained to my family the difficulties of being deported, which are made worse by arriving to a new destination in a state of complete neglect and disorientation. I asked them to carefully analyze their decision before communicating it to me. In the end, both opted for leaving.”  

Getty Images is honored to support the Committee to Protect Journalists, and help bring more attention to the difficulties facing Rodriguez Saludes and others — too many others –  around the world. The importance of press freedom is one of our core beliefs as an organization, and we strongly support journalists’ ability to safely document the critical events of our time.

Editor’s note: Jonathan Klein is the CEO and Co-Founder of Getty Images, and a CPJ board member. To Learn more about the CPJ, visit their website:


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