NEW YORK (AP) _ CNN opened a bureau in Havana today, becoming the first U.S. news organization to permanently station a correspondent in Cuba in 27 years.

Lucia Newman, whose previous CNN assignments were in Mexico, Chile, Nicaragua and Panama, was to deliver her first report as Havana bureau chief this afternoon.

The Clinton administration last month approved a license request from CNN to operate in Havana. Cuba previously gave its permission to CNN in August. The network is the first American news organization to operate a bureau in the country since The Associated Press was expelled in 1969.

Newman said she was looking forward to giving CNN viewers a better sense of what it is like to live in the country than reporters on temporary visas can provide.

``It's not just a country with a president with a long beard,'' Newman said in a telephone interview.

CNN's bureau is in the Havana Libre Hotel, formerly the Hilton. Newman said she's busy trying to put together an office _ she's using a hotel coffee table because she hasn't been able to locate a desk yet.

Her first reports today also coincide with the launch of the new CNN en Espanol network.

The AP and several other U.S. news organizations also have received permission from the Clinton administration to reopen a bureau in Cuba. The AP is continuing discussions with the Cubans to do so.