MIAMI- Antonio Rodiles, independent producer of the Emmy-nominated TV Martí program Estado de SATS, visited the Martí headquarters this week for the first time. The Cuban-based journalist has worked with the Martís for over a year, but until now had never met the staff. His program, which is filmed in Cuba, with wrap-around segments produced by the Martís, tackles the realities and challenges faced by Cubans on the island.
“This is the reunion I have dreamed of,” Rodiles said, surrounded by his Martí colleagues. While at the studios Rodiles also met another member of his show, Miami based co-host Vanessa Ruiz. An emotional Ruiz said having Rodiles by her side felt surreal and she thanked him for his courage. She praised his work adding “there’s the Cuba before Estado de SATS and the one after. You have made a mark” she told Rodiles.
A strong critic of the Cuban government, Rodiles was arrested, beaten and held without charge for 19 days in November 2012. He is one of the coordinators of Citizen’s Demand for Another Cuba (Demanda Ciudadana Por Otra Cuba), an initiative calling for Cuba to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was signed and acknowledged by the United Nations in 2008. Rodiles has taken this project on the road and on May 4 will host an open forum in Miami. He explained that the purpose for his trip is to work towards the unification of Cubans around the world. He added, “Soon all Cubans will celebrate Cuba’s freedom.”
While at the broadcasting station, Rodiles and wife Ailer Gonzalez met with Office of Cuba Broadcasting Director Carlos García Pérez and members of the senior staff before appearing live on the radio program Con Voz Propia (With Your Own Voice) and recording a special edition of Las Noticias Como Son, Radio Martí’s daily news magazine. Both programs will be transmitted via radio, TV and streamed online at martinoticias.com.
In this English language interview, Mr. Rodiles talks about the new travel restrictions in Cuba, the purpose of his travel, the role of the Martís in Cuba, the meaning behind his TV program Estado de SATS, his latest project “Citizen’s Demand for Another Cuba”.