Radio Y Televisión Martí - Radio Martí Today

Radio Martí Today

Today, Radio Marti transmits over shortwave transmitters in Delano, California and Greenville, North Carolina and a medium-wave transmitter in Marathon, Florida (GC: 24°41′58″N 81°5′19″W / 24.69944°N 81.08861°W / 24.69944; -81.08861). The studios are currently located in Miami. Cuba jams both the medium-wave and shortwave signals, but the shortwave program is heard in Canada and throughout Central and South America. On occasion, the medium wave transmitter at 1180 kHz can be heard as far north as Washington, D.C. TV Martí broadcasts daily programs in Spanish via a transmitter affixed to an aerostat balloon located 10,000 feet (3,048 m) above Cudjoe Key, Florida. As a result of Hurricane Dennis, the broadcasting aerostat (which the locals named "Fat Albert") was destroyed by wind.

An hour of Radio Martí's news programs are carried each night, midnight to 1:00AM, by Miami's most popular Spanish-language station, Radio Mambi (WAQI-710AM), which blankets the island of Cuba with its 50,000 watt signal, although it is jammed in Havana. TV Marti airs half-hour early and late evening newscasts, but the channel is also carried on DirecTV, which is pirated by many Cuban civilians. A low-power Miami TV channel, WGEN-LD, Virtual digital Channel 8.1 (RF digital Channel 45.1), carries TV Marti's half-hour early and late evening newscasts and other programming. .

Radio Martí operates with about 100 employees and a budget of $15 million. Its mission, in its own words, is to provide "a contrast to Cuban media and provide its listeners with an uncensored view of current events." Former prisoners in Cuba and Cuban exiles often speak on Radio Martí; and on Saturdays a Spanish version of the U.S. president's weekly radio address, as well as the opposition's response, are transmitted.

There is much debate about the effectiveness of these broadcasts. As with Radio Free Europe during the Cold War, there is no way to judge the station's true audience through the usual listener surveys. Thus, the actual number of listeners is open to speculation. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the satellite communist governments of Eastern Europe, a Hoover Institution conference reviewing reports from citizens in newly independent Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and other countries tended to substantiate the effectiveness of RFE and U.S. Voice of America broadcasts both in providing information and bolstering democratic movements within those countries, despite attempts at electronic jamming and counter-propaganda.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the budget for all U.S. government-run foreign broadcasters, with the exception of Radio Martí, was sharply reduced. In 1996, its studios were moved from Washington, D.C. to Miami, Florida. The move, in addition to placing the station's studios closer to its target audience, also underscored its growing independence from the Voice of America, another government-run foreign broadcaster with which Radio Martí had previously shared studios.

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