SAN JUAN – A photo exhibit celebrating the 75th anniversary of Agencia EFE, Spain’s international news agency, opened Thursday in the Puerto Rican capital.
Puerto Rico’s secretary of state and lieutenant-governor, David Bernier, joined EFE President Jose Antonio Vera for the inauguration of the exposition of 75 images reflecting the modern history of Spain and the Americas.
Spain and Puerto Rico “maintain strong ties” thanks to a common culture that has withstood the change of sovereignty in 1898, Bernier told distinguished guests from the worlds of business, culture and academia.
The presence of EFE in Puerto Rico will contribute to the preservation of Hispanic culture, he said.
Vera, in his remarks, stressed the evolution of EFE from a small agency in the northern Spanish city of Burgos into the world’s largest Spanish-language news agency and the fourth-biggest overall, an achievement he credited to the work of the organization’s dedicated professionals.
The use of Spanish – the language of more than 500 million people around the world – is the hallmark of EFE’s identity, Vera said.
Among those present for the opening of the exhibit at San Juan’s Plaza Las Americas mall were Puerto Rican Development Secretary Alberto Baco, Senate leader Eduardo Bhatia and Ingrid Rivera, director of Compañia de Turismo de Puerto Rico, the island’s tourism agency.
Jaime Fonalledas, president of Empresas Fonalledas, which owns Plaza Las Americas, was also among the guests.
The exhibit includes images of events such as Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Muñoz Marin’s arrival in Madrid in 1955 and the tragic 1986 New Year’s Eve blaze at San Juan’s Dupont Plaza hotel.
Likewise represented are Ricky Martin, Tite Curet, Benicio del Toro and other Puerto Ricans who have become international stars, as well as sporting milestones such as Puerto Rico’s 2004 victory in basketball over the United States.
The exhibit, “EFE: 75 Years of History,” does not ignore the political realm, offering photos of the Spanish ambassador to Cuba confronting Fidel Castro and of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 visit to Puerto Rico.
The anniversary exposition is sponsored by Spain’s Air Europa and Banco Santander.
EFE has maintained a presence on the island for decades and the agency’s San Juan bureau provides coverage in both Spanish and English of Puerto Rico and the non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean.
In the United States, EFE offers a national Spanish-language news service aimed at the Hispanic market, as well as a global English-language service, while the agency’s journalists provide full coverage of the U.S. scene for the agency’s clients worldwide.
With more than 3,000 professionals working in 120 countries, EFE annually generates more than 3 million items of text, photo, audio, video and multimedia.