The Martís, which includes TV and Radio Martí and martinoticias.com, successfully broadcast four hours of live coverage to the island via DirecTV, and simultaneously on Radio Martí through shortwave and medium wave radio. The live coverage also was streamed via Youtube and Facebook today, Sunday, March 20, 2016. Footage of people watching the live stream in the Habana Libre Hotel was captured by a member of the international press corp.
Also captured in that footage were Cuban State Security officials monitoring TV Martí’s live stream on YouTube at the Press Center. In this restrictive media environment, two independent journalists were arrested while on assignment for the Martís. Their current whereabouts are unknown.
The Cuban government continues to censor the Martís on the island, however, Martinoticas.com’s Youtube channel and social media saw a spike in live viewership when President Obama landed in Havana. Some Facebook posts have received more than 600,000 views, and Cubans are actively posting on Martinoticias’s Facebook page. One follower in Havana commented, “Keep informing the Cuban people as you have done all these years. Thanks to all, from a Cuban eager to know the truth.”
The Martís began its continuous coverage at 4:00 p.m. EDT with live reports from Havana with international journalist Marian de la Fuente and Voice of America correspondent Celia Mendoza and TV Martí’s network of independent journalists. One intense moment in the coverage was when human rights activist Ladies In White leader Berta Soler spoke with the Martís while being arrested by the State Police.
On Monday, March 21, the Martís will continue with 12 straight hours of coverage of the historic visit, and another ten hours of coverage on Tuesday.
Martí’s special coverage of Obama in Cuba can be seen on MiraTV on DirecTV, Radio Martí can be heard on shortwave and on 1180 AM, and streaming is available on Martinoticias.com, Youtube and Facebook.