U.S. broadcast efforts in Cuba worth the cost?

The Chicago Tribune offers a comprehensive profile of Radio and TV Martí, broadcasts directed to Cuba which have been funded and supported strategically by the United States. Speaking about the effectiveness of these programs, and the management over them by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting is Joe Garcia, Director of NDN's Hispanic Strategy Center:

But in addition to buying talent, passing out contracts also mutes community discussion of frequent criticism of OCB by outsiders, such as government watchdogs or members of Congress, said Joe Garcia, a former executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation, a leading anti-Castro exile lobbying group.

"If you're a Cuban-American journalist, there are no other markets to be in. It's a very limited market and they're a big employer in it. That's why people don't criticize it," said Garcia, now senior vice president of the New Democratic Network, a group of centrist Democrats.

Garcia said he strongly supports government broadcasting to Cuba, but believes that Radio and TV Marti have been mismanaged under Republican and Democratic administrations.

In October, NDN conducted the first major poll of the Cuban exile community. It revealed that 88% think that Castro will not return to power, while half of those polled expect democracy and liberation of Cuba within the next 5 years. More than three quarters want a peaceful and gradual transition. To view it, click here.