Wednesday, September 27, 2006

TV Martí

The NYT has an article about TV Martí, which along with Radio Martí is part of the U.S. government’s effort to broadcast messages to Cuba. It is well worth a read, as it lays out everything wrong with U.S. policy toward Cuba. TV Martí is dominated by Cuba exiles, and it is impossible to turn off because you’d be risking those votes:

Both stations have been accused of shoddy journalism and hiring practices, especially since the move to Miami, where some say they are primarily a jobs program for hard-line exiles.

In 1999, the inspector general of the State Department told Congress that the stations had “problems with balance, fairness, objectivity and adequate sourcing that impacted credibility.”

Another inspector general’s report, in 2003, criticized the hiring practices and program quality at the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, prompting its director to resign.

If that’s not bad enough, the article provides an example of what it claims is the most popular programming. Cuban exiles act the roles of Fidel and Raúl Castro, showing them as dimwitted while pumping in a laugh track.

And this will impress the Cuban people and convince them the Bush administration is their friend? Is it so difficult to forge a Cuba policy with even just a shred of nuance?


Anonymous,  1:31 PM  

Cubans interviewed in the NYT article said that they saw the Marti stations as a source of income for well connected exiles in Miami. Is there any information concerning the thoughts of cubans towards their expatriot counterparts here in the U.S.? I can't understand the logic behind the US approach to cuba. They have to be seen as another FORCED option imposed upon the cuban people. If there is such faith in our democracy why not let it speak for itself and give cubans access to media outlets that would lead them to make their own, informed decisions?

Greg Weeks 3:50 PM  

I am not sure it's possible to gauge exactly what a majority of Cubans think, given the difficulty of collecting data. But my impression is that there is considerable skepticism about the motives of Cuban exiles, though of course that also depends on what exiles we're talking about.

As for giving Cubans access to media outlets, that is up to Fidel and not us.

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