With Cubans getting more of what they want to watch, can Radio/TV Martí compete?

Posted: 19 Feb 2010   Print   Send a link
"[T]he U.S. trade embargo against Cuba may actually make it easier for American movies and shows to end up on Cuban TV. Since the trade sanctions block the Cuban government from paying legally for the use of American media content, it just uses the programming for free. ... The proliferation of digital media on the island has made it increasingly tough for the Cuban government to monopolize its audience. That competition may be another reason the number of state-run channels has increased from two to five over the past decade, with programming that increasingly reflects what people want to watch, rather than what the government officially thinks they should be watching. But it’s also made Radio and TV Marti a less appealing alternative for Cubans who don’t necessarily want more politics in their lives. Cuban dissident Vladimiro Roca recently complained to Miami’s El Nuevo Herald that Radio Marti was 'so bad and so uninteresting to the Cuban people that no one listens,' adding that its coverage was too focused on exile politics in Miami, instead of news from Cuba." Nick Miroff, GlobalPost, 17 February 2010. US international broadcasting is a confederation of separate, sometimes competing operations. Radio/TV Marti has not, until recently, made use of the news resources of VOA, and has no plans (that I know of) to use news reports from RFE/RL, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra, or Radio Sawa. These news resources of US international broadcasting will have to come together in a era in which even Cuban broadcasting is at least somewhat competitive. The continued need for US international broadcasting to Cuba is discussed in the previous post.