Office of Cuba Broadcasting

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The Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), based in Miami, Florida, USA, directs the operations of Radio Marti and TV Marti, Spanish language radio and television broadcast services directed at undermining the Cuban government. The Office is within the US government agency the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). "In accordance with the Broadcasting to Cuba Act of 1983 (Public Law 98-111), Radio Martí follows Voice of America journalistic standards and guidelines for presenting a variety of news and information in an accurate and objective manner," the BBG states on its website. [1]

Budget

  • In the 2005 financial year, the BBG reported that the OCB had a budget of $27 million and employed 150 staff. [2] (Pdf)
  • In 2009, it had a budget of $34.7 million and employed 151 staff.[1]

U.S. broadcasts may net small Cuban audience

By 2009 almost half a billion dollars had been spent on the broadcasts to Cuba. Congressional investigators reported that only a tiny audience may be receiving the programming and suggested finding better ways to gauge their effectiveness. "The Government Accountability Office concluded that best estimates indicate about 2 percent of the island's approximately 11 million people have seen or heard one or more broadcasts since 2003, when the U.S. began phone surveys in Cuba through a third-country contractor."[2]

U.S. Paid 10 Journalists for Anti-Castro Reports

In 2006, The New York Times reported, that the Bush administration's Office of Cuba Broadcasting paid 10 journalists to provide commentary on Radio and TV Martí, which transmit to Cuba government broadcasts critical of Fidel Castro. "The group included three journalists at El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language sister newspaper of The Miami Herald, which fired them Thursday after learning of the relationship. Pablo Alfonso, who reports on Cuba for El Nuevo Herald, received the largest payment, almost $175,000 since 2001. Other journalists have been found to accept money from the Bush administration, including Armstrong Williams, a commentator and talk-show host who received $240,000 to promote its education initiatives. But while the Castro regime has long alleged that some Cuban-American reporters in Miami were paid by the government, the revelation on Friday, reported in The Miami Herald, was the first evidence of that."[3]

Mixed Signals: Ideological Battle Rocks Radio Marti

In 1993, the Orlando Sentinel wrote about the ideological skirmishes between left and right at Radio Marti for what to broadcast to the Cuban people. "Radio Marti, the U.S. government station run largely by Cuban exiles, transmits Cuba's unfolding drama back to its own people and is poised to play an important role in a political transition on the island. That is, if its own offices don't erupt in civil war first. The battle between anti-Castro hard-liners and liberals, a familiar showdown in Miami, has settled in with a vengeance at the eight-year-old Office of Cuba Broadcasting. Though such tension has existed at Radio Marti since its inception, the tug of war between left and right has escalated in recent weeks, exacerbated by the change in the U.S. administration and the belief that the situation in Cuba is moving toward some sort of change. Dissension and bitterness reign. Morale of the 140-member staff is at rock bottom. Skirmishes are frequent, over everything from news content to musical selections. A leadership vacuum has attracted outsiders seeking to influence coverage."[4]

Personnel

Former:

Contact details

Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti)
4201 N.W. 77th Avenue
Miami, FL 33166
Telephone: (305) 437-7000
Fax: (305) 437-7016
Web: (Spanish) http://www.martinoticias.com
Web: (English) http://www.bbg.gov/broadcasters/marti

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Radio and TV Martí, Broadcasting Board of Governors, accessed December 2010.
  2. "U.S. broadcasts may net tiny Cuban audience", NY Daily News, February 4, 2009.
  3. Abby Goodnough, "U.S. Paid 10 Journalists for Anti-Castro Reports", New York Times, September 9, 2006.
  4. "Mixed Signals: Ideological Battle Rocks Radio Marti", Orlando Sentinel, July 2, 1993.
  5. Director of Office of Cuba Broadcasting Appointed, Broadcasting Board of Governors, September 22, 2010.

External resources

  • Fact sheet, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, accessed December 2010.

External articles