TV Martí is in the air (updated).

Posted: 28 Oct 2006   Print   Send a link
"The new [sic] G1 twin turboprop, based in Key West, is to be airborne between 6 and 11 every night except Sunday in an attempt to bypass Cuban government jamming of the stations' previously stationary broadcasting facilities. ... But the aircraft is still restricted to flying within U.S. airspace to avoid violating international broadcasting regulations. Some Cuban-American lawmakers are pushing the administration to let the plane fly in international airspace, which would make it even harder on the Cuban jammers. ... Last week, Cuba's acting ambassador before the United Nations, Ileana Núñez, told the General Assembly that on Aug. 11, Cuba detected simultaneous broadcasts from two aircraft in the 213 MHz frequency [Channel 13] that interfered with island stations. (Radio-TV Martí chief of staff Alberto) Mascaro said the new aircraft is broadcasting on TV's Channel 20 frequency and will not broadcast Radio Martí on the FM frequency." Miami Herald, 26 October 2006. The Grumman G-159 Gulstream I turboprops were built between 1959 and 1969. There are Cuban domestic terrestrial television stations on channel 13, which was used by TV Martí from its blimp-based transmitter. There appear to be no Cuban domestic television stations on the UHF channels (14 and above). Can television sets in Cuba receive UHF? Newer imported sets almost certainly come with the obligatory UHF. The aircraft-based transmitter will make it more difficult to jam TV Martí, but on VHF and UHF frequencies, unlike on shortwave, the closer (jamming) signal almost always prevails. Afro-Cuban and African-American civil rights leaders meet on Radio Martí broadcast. WFOR-TV (Miami), 23 October 2006. Update: "Cuba has jammed the latest anti-Castro television programing beamed over by the United States, according to an informal survey of Cubans who tried to watch the shows that included baseball's championship series." Reuters, 27 October 2006. "TV Martí should at least be eliminated as a government expenditure. The Cuban exile community is known for its entrepreneurial accomplishments since the late 19th century, when they populated Tampa as tabaqueros. They also have a long record of successful fundraising; therefore, if the Cuban exile community wants to air TV Marti, let them pay for it." Vincent Parascandolo, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 28 October 2006. Yes. With shortwave the medium most resistant to jamming, a VOA service on shortwave combining programming targeted to Cuba, with the general VOA Spanish service, and perhaps some programming from U.S. domestic commercial Spanish radio, would be effective and cost effective."