Radio and TV Martí Highlights

2011 Highlights

  • Re-designing Martí into a polished destination site, increasing daily traffic over 1,000 percent between February and December 2011.
  • Establishing proxy sites and Psiphon nodes to facilitate Internet access from Cuba.
  • Expanding phone call-ins with listeners in Cuba to participate live on Radio Martí programs including El Revoltillo (The Scramble), a one-of-a kind show mixing classified listings of products available in Cuba with lessons in entrepreneurship and market economy in a light-hearted format.
  • Continuing coverage of human rights abuses, particularly the struggle led by Las Damas de Blanco (The Ladies in White) a group of women highlighting the plight of political prisoners in Cuba.
  • Increasing coverage of news events outside of Havana, aided by cell phone audio, video and pictures.
  • Radio and TV broadcasts of Major League Baseball’s World Series and delivery of thousands of DVD game recordings to Cuba.
  • Rebranding the Martís with a new logo and a new graphics packages and sets.

2010 Highlights:

  • In a historic first, Radio and TV Martí hosted a debate between the Democratic and Republican candidates, Cuban-American candidates, Joe Garcia (D), chairman of the Democratic Party in Miami-Dade, and David Rivera (R), Florida State Representative, for Florida’s 25th Congressional District.
  • Live coverage of the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for the Freedom of Thought Ceremony in Strasbourg, France where the winner, Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas, was represented by an empty chair.
  • Reports on the release of Cuban dissident Ariel Sigler Amaya, left a paraplegic after confinement and abuse as a political prisoner. Amaya left Havana, bound to Miami for medical care.
  • Breaking news of the death of Cuban “Prisoner of Conscience” Orlando Zapata Tamayo with live coverage of his funeral via cellular phone.
  • Newly formatted program Con Voz Propia (With Your Own Voice) opened its microphones to the Cuban public. It is part of a fresh 360-degree approach to news and information that encourages audience participation and interactive exchange of ideas across Martí’s radio, TV and online platforms.
  • The first of 13 remaining Cuban dissidents jailed since 2003, Ramos Lauzurique, was released from prison. Marti was credited with breaking the news by

Europa Press and La Vanguardia (Digital newspapers in Spain).

  • Extensive coverage of the call by prominent African-Americans on Cuban government to end racial discrimination. Interviews included the leader of the initiative, Director David Covin, activist Carlos Moore, and blogger Manuel Aguirre Labarrere. 

2009 Highlights:

  • Radio Martí leveraged new media tools to capture and broadcast news live from the scene via cell phone including a live broadcast of the results of the first blogging awards contest in Cuba.
  • Comprehensive coverage of human rights issues included a five part series on the growth of the blogging community in Cuba with online features at Martí and on YouTube. Related reporting included: – an exclusive interview with blogger Yoani Sanchez on her e-mail exchange with President Barack Obama; – live statements by Cuban bloggers who were beaten in November as they prepared for a peaceful demonstration; and – live coverage as the Cuban government arrested a number of dissidents and pro-government mobs disrupted a peaceful march in Havana to commemorate International Human Rights Day.
  • Both Radio and TV Martí provided extensive news of changes in U.S. policy towards Cuba announced by President Obama in April including reactions from inside Cuba, from dissidents, members of Congress, and Cuban affairs experts.
  • In-depth reporting on the African-American intellectual and civic leaders’ “Statement of Conscience” that called for the Cuban government to halt racial discrimination and to free imprisoned black dissidents. In an interview with Radio Martí, Oscar Elias Biscet, an Afro-Cuban activist serving a 25 year sentence, said he heard the news via Radio Martí and called the letter a breakthrough.
  • Beginning in September, Radio Martí expanded coverage of H1N1 in contrast to the paucity of information available in Cuban media about prevention and outbreaks.
  • Radio and TV Marti continue to increase cooperation with the Latin America Division of the Voice of America. Effective use of assets from both organizations have led to extensive collaboration, sharing of stories, programs and features on a daily basis.