Yesterday, the majority staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), chaired by U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, released a report on U.S. government radio and television broadcasts to Cuba -- known as Radio and TV Marti.
For the record, this is the same SFRC staff that is currently holding up aid for the families of Cuba's political prisoners and pro-democracy movement, and that supports unilaterally lifting sanctions and normalizing relations with the Castro regime.
So how do they feel about the Marti broadcasts?
Frankly, it's not whether the SFRC staff likes or dislikes the Marti broadcasts that is of concern -- it's their biased standard and lack of credible data that raises eyebrows.
In its report, the SFRC staff concluded that the Marti broadcasts have failed to make "any discernible inroads into Cuban society or to influence the Cuban government."
Let's take the second part first.
Since when has the goal of the Marti broadcasts been to "influence" the Castro regime?
That's a disingenuous statement.
According to the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act, the goal of these transmissions is "to support the right of the people of Cuba to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, in accordance with article 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
No has has ever been under the illusion -- except perhaps the authors of this report -- that the Marti broadcasts (or unilateral concessions, for that matter) will influence the irrational and totalitarian behavior of the Castro brothers.
Which takes us back to the first part.
Have the Marti's failed to make "any discernible inroads into Cuban society" (using the SFRC's staff language)?
In order to objectively answer that question, tangible and credible data is required.
But the SFRC's staff has instead (unquestionably) accepted data cited in a 2009 report by the General Accountability Office (GAO), which concluded that "the best available research indicates that OCB's audience size is small."
Here's the kicker: the data cited in the GAO report was from an international survey (poll) conducted through phone calls to the island.
In other words, a Cuban household was blindly called from abroad, despite knowing that their telephone lines are constantly monitored, and the person is asked whether they listen to or watch Radio and TV Marti, which is punishable with severe prison terms by the Castro regime.
Seriously? That is credible data?
If this report were truly objective, the question -- in accordance to law -- should be:
Does Radio and TV Marti "support the right of the people of Cuba to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, in accordance with article 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights"?
Unfortunately, the SFRC report never got past its biased standard.
- ► 2013 (465)
- ► 2012 (1158)
- ► 2011 (1032)
05/02 - 05/09
- Treatment of Journalist Worsens
- How to Control Pyongyang, Caracas & Havana
- Marco Rubio on Cuba Policy
- U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee's on Message
- Another 80-Year-Old General
- Tanner's Stacked Hearing
- The Paris Club's Second Largest Debtor
- No Reciprocated Goodwill
- Senate (Marti) Report Lacks Credibility
- The Return of Inspector Clouseau
- Narcos, Castro, FARC and Paramilitaries
- Military Summons for Repression
- Worst of the Worst
- What is Freedom?
- ▼ 05/02 - 05/09 (14)
- ► 2009 (933)