Radio Martí Goes Online (But Does It Matter?)

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The U.S. government spends millions of dollars every year transmitting news (or something like it) to Cuba through Radio y Televisión Martí's studios in Miami with the aim of balancing the government-controlled Cuban press. But there's little indication that the program is effective or that many Cubans receive the broadcasts. Now the Office of Cuba Broadcasting is trying to expand its message through new media, but it's doubtful that move will expand the programming's reach.

The Cuban government regularly blocks the signals of both Radio and TV Martí, and even when they do get through, they're often of low quality.

A congressional investigation released in 2009 estimated that only about 2 percent of the Cuban population had tuned in to Radio and TV Martí in the past two years. As America's fiscal health continues to halter the stations, many have been eyed for possible cuts or elimination.

According to the Associated Press, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting has now set up several "ghost" websites that allow Cubans to listen to Martí broadcasts.

So far the sites have received a whopping 400 hits, and those aren't even all coming from Cuba. Listeners from America and (ominously) Iran also account for a few of those listens.

That's probably because most Cubans don't have access to the Internet, and even when they do, the connection is usually slow and not optimized for media streaming.

The Office of Cuba Broadcasting is also texting messages through Skype.

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5 comments
Dodriscoll
Dodriscoll

What a terrible waste of money. 99% of the people in this country don't give a rats ass about Cuba. The only ones who care are the cowards in Miami who ran away in the first place. Now the sit here and complain. I only hope you will get back on your rafts and go back when Fidel dies and we can start to clean Miami and rid it of your corrupt stench.

Mas 3333
Mas 3333

And Rubio wanted to canel NPR....At least, NPR has some listeners....Remember.. you voted for his a**hole and Scott....

Craig Quirolo
Craig Quirolo

How silly to be treating Cuba as if it were as distant as the moon while the Cuban people deal with limited food supplies. Decent people feed their neighbors and use peaceful diplomacy to deal with conflicting views. Lifting the embargo will let the Cuban people hear 'first hand' and not from some right wing propaganda network. On both sides of the Gulf Stream it's failed old peoples politics with lousy radio, terrible TV and piss poor programming. Our youth deserve to grow up in harmony and friendship with one another, it just kills me that we are wasting so much of our precious time on this and not spending Marti money on Cuban and American collaborated youth hosted radio programs. The music, the drama the talent we are not showcasing is a crime.

Ygalvez74
Ygalvez74

stop wasting $$ in tv and radio Marti . no body care about it in cuba, only the ones tha are making $$$$$ from it in usa,

Rob Sequin
Rob Sequin

More smoke and mirrors from Radio Marti.

What are the websites? How much are they spending to develop the websites? How are they getting the words to the Cuban people about the websites... by announcing them over Radio Marti? :-)

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