Photo: Obama administration looking to change U.S. programming in Cuba
U.S. government radio and TV broadcasts in Cuba are under new management, and it is being promised that an effort will be made to make the station more relevant and try to reach a younger audience.
While President Bush pushed for the use of the radio station to try to persuade the overthrow of the government, the Obama administration is taking a different tack. This current administration, with the help of the stations’ new managers, wants to encourage more cultural and economic exchanges in order to bring about political change from within the island’s own population.
Carlos Garcia-Perez, a 43-year-old Cuban-American attorney, who took over the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in October, said, “To enable the free flow of information to our audience (in Cuba), that’s what we’re all about. It would be great if other commercial broadcasts had complete access, but that’s not the reality.” He also noted that in January, Cuban officials removed CNNs Spanish service from a package of channels intended for hotels and foreign companies. They gave no reasoning for the action.
Though there are program changes on the stations, Garcia-Perez maintains that the purpose of the stations is to provide listeners/watchers with another view of the Cuban government.
“We don’t try to tell the people in Cuba ‘Fidel and Raul are bad.’ They know that,” he said. “We want to be the number one station to bring the news to the Cuban people about what’s happening inside the island first and then a window to the rest of the world.”