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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 09:12 AM
Original message
Radio, TV Martí face a congressional probe
Radio, TV Martí face a congressional probe
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/16278442.htm
Congress early next year will investigate allegations of mismanagement and political cronyism at taxpayer-funded Radio and TV Martí, a ranking Democrat said Tuesday.

Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass. -- slated to chair the oversight and investigations subcommittee for the House International Relations Committee -- said he will move to hold hearings on the Martís in late January or early February. His comments came a day after Radio Mambí, WAQI-AM (710), and Azteca América, WPMF-TV 38, each began carrying an hour of Martí programming daily for payment.

-

Delahunt said the U.S. government is essentially hiring the stations to reach mostly local audiences, funded with taxpayer money. The six-month contracts call for Mambí to be paid $182,500 and WPMF $195,000. WPMF general manager Enrique Landín said Channel 38 also will sell commercials during the Martí newscasts -- which enraged Delahunt.

''Now we're subsidizing private commercial stations,'' said Delahunt, who called the Martís politically motivated boondoggles. The Martís will receive $37 million this year. ``This is outrageous.''


More at.. http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/16278442.htm


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bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. its about time. what a corrupt rats nest of graft and cronyism.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. And Rep Lincoln Diaz-Balart,R-FL weighs in as usual...
The criticisms didn't surprise U.S. Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart, who earmarks funds for the Martí operation.

''I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Delahunt . . . to stop trying to help the Cuban dictatorship,'' Díaz-Balart said through his chief of staff, Ana Carbonell.


http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/16278442.htm

This rat's nest needs cleaning out.
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. Problems dog broadcaster
The most recent analysis of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting found some programs have let bias creep in.

<snip>


"Almost four years ago, an Inspector General's audit ripped TV and Radio Martí bosses for improper hiring practices. The director resigned under a barrage of criticism for cronyism and patronage. Programming needed an overhaul to curtail bias, a separate study concluded.

Miami's powerful Cuban-American congressional leaders looked to local lawyer Pedro Roig to turn the operation around.

Today, many of the problems that have dogged the Martí broadcasters for two decades remain. A miniscule number of people in Cuba hear or see the broadcasts. The Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which oversees the Martí operation, is once again beset by scandal -- a top executive was indicted last month on a kickback-for-contracts scheme."

Much more:

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/breaking_news...




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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
4. This is one setup which is just throwing money away
Radio Marta was supposed to change minds in Cuba. Forty odd years later it is still trying to change minds in Cuba. It works, but only in reverse. More people in Cuba dislike us today then they did forty years ago.

I really hope Delahunt shuts it down.
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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. You really want to change minds in Cuba?
End the boycott.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Sorry, but I disagree with your comment about Cubans in Cuba.
Cubans in Cuba DO NOT dislike Americans. They don't like the actions of the US gov.

Cubans in Cuba know full well that the US gov doesn't represent the interests of the American people on Cuba related issues.
-
Poll: Americans don't support Cuban Sanctions
http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=770
-

Cubans in Cuba know full well about the campaign financing loop from the US taxpayers--> TV/Radio Marti--> to politicians who support more funding for TV/Radio Marti (both R's and D's). This information, and much other information of interest, is broadcast to Cubans on one of the most popular TV shows in Cuba - The Roundtable (kinda like DU TV for lefties).



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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Then they aren't paying attention
Heck, there are too many americans of the far rightwing persuasion who are downright scary. And many of the Cubans in Miami would scare the bejesus out of anyone.

And many of the Democrats in DC aren't much better than the GOP when it comes to Cuba and Latin America.


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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. It appears to have been painfully easy for the right-wing elements in government
Edited on Wed Dec-20-06 05:07 PM by Judi Lynn
to keep most Americans completely misled, and uninformed about that country, while conducting over 45 years of economic and covert (and not so covert) terrorism against them.

The radical, violent wingers in Miami have very long tentacles, and have enlisted the help of powerful blowhards like Jesse Helms, Tom Delay, Dan Burton, and the losers in the Democratic Party, like Torricelli (who used to favor dropping the embargo!) and Lieberman by throwing barrels of campaign contributions in their general direction regularly.

They just BUY them. It has been shown, as touched upon in Mika's post, they can actually use OUR OWN TAX MONEY to make contributions to U.S. Congressmen, who then allocate huge chunks of change to Cuban "exile" interests' coffers through various legislative maneuvers.

Creepy, repellent, they circumvent our own laws to benefit themselves, while using benefits and advantages not available to any other group of people, not even Native Americans.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
9. Radio, TV Marti seal deal in S. Florida
Radio, TV Marti seal deal in S. Florida

News reports seen as way to boost Cuban audience

By Vanessa Bauzá and Madeline Baró Diaz
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted December 20 2006

Federally funded Radio and TV Martí have struck six-month deals with two commercial South Florida stations to broadcast news reports to Cuba in the latest attempt to circumvent jamming of their anti-Castro programming.

U.S. law prohibits the use of public airwaves for propaganda aimed at foreign audiences, such as Radio and TV Martí and Voice of America. However, Tish King a spokeswoman for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Cuba broadcasting programs, said the law that created Radio Martí allows U.S. stations to carry the programming if signals to Cuba are jammed.

After consulting with a congressional oversight committee, the board decided similar rules could be applied to TV Martí, King said. The agreements represent the first time private stations are allowed to carry programming from Radio and TV Martí. The broadcasts began Monday.

The agreements, worth $377,500 combined, are an attempt to boost Radio and TV Martí's Cuban audience at a critical time. In Havana, it is unclear whether Fidel Castro will ever return to the presidency, while in Washington anti-embargo legislators are increasingly criticizing the administration's hard line against the island nation.
(snip/...)

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/miami/sfl-amarti...

Once again, we see right-wingers operating on the idea the U.S. law is inconvenient, doesn't suit their purposes, so they'll ignore it.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Radio/TV Marti doesn't fool Cubans in Cuba, so they're busy fooling "exiles" in Miami..
.. AND getting paid more for it.

The Office of Cuba Broadcasting is the most expensive US government broadcasting program. Pure propaganda. Pure boondogle. Pure political payoff. Using our taxes and debt to do so.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. US sends foreign aid to third countries to promote change in Cuba
US sends foreign aid to third countries to promote change in Cuba
The Associated PressPublished: December 22, 2006

MIAMI: While Cuban leader Fidel Castro's health crisis has sparked new debate over federal funding of U.S. groups pushing for change on the communist island, the United States has for years quietly funneled millions of dollars to groups working in Europe to also promote Cuban democracy.

Through the National Endowment for Democracy, a nonprofit foundation created by the Reagan administration in 1983, more than $200,000 (€151,607) has gone to the Czech group People in Need, which nurtures independent Cuban journalists.

The endowment gave Slovakian groups People in Peril and the Pontis Foundation $33,000 (€25,015) over two years to promote independent think tanks on the island. The Spanish magazine, Encounter of Cuban Culture, has received $771,000 (€584,445) in endowment grants since 1998 to print articles by Cuban dissidents.

Over the last two decades, the endowment has granted nearly $14 million (€10.61 million) to Cuba democracy programs, many based in the U.S., that link Cuban dissidents to groups in Europe and Latin America. The grants grew from $110,000 (€83,384) in 1986 to nearly $2.4 million (€1.82 million) last year.
(snip)

Critics say the effort reflects the lengths to which the federal government must go to avoid the snags of its own Cuba policy — which makes it illegal for the U.S. government to send money directly into the country, even to fund anti-Castro groups. But because the endowment is a private corporation, its dollars can be sent to groups in Cuba — even though the money originally came from the federal treasury.
(snip/...)

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/12/22/america/NA_GE...
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