Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis) yesterday called for the elimination of the Radio and TV Martí programs, saying funding them is a waste that could save the government $300 million over the next 10 years by getting rid of them.
A scathing Senate Foreign Relations Committee report, chaired by Sen. John Kerry, states:
“Problems with adherence to traditional journalistic standards, miniscule audience size, Cuban Government jamming, and allegations of cronyism have dogged the program since its creation. As a result, Congress has reduced TV Marti’s funding and has strongly encouraged Radio Marti to ensure that its broadcasts adhere to journalistic standards practiced by the Voice of America. Indeed, this report goes further, and recommends that the Office of Cuba Broadcasting be incorporated into the Voice of America.”
The 15-page report concludes Radio and TV Martí have “failed to make any discernable inroads into Cuban society or to influence the Cuban Government,” with less than 2% of Cubans in the island listening to Radio Martí and no viewers for TV Martí.