Amidst the dynamic relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, Television and Radio Martí are providing Cubans with accurate and reliable information on the political changes and how they may affect daily life.
Radio and TV Martí provided Cubans with live, balanced coverage of the July 20 re-opening of the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. and the joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuba Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla. Both events were also live streamed online at martinoticias.com (garnering almost 62,000 views on mobile and desktop), and coverage of the day’s events was the focus of a special edition of Monday’s Antena Live. As part of the special coverage, the Martís compared the differences between an interest section and an embassy, profiled the key governmental representatives from both the US and Cuba, and with its network of reporters on the island ,covered the diversity of reactions from the people of Cuba.
The Martís then interviewed U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on July 22 about changes being discussed in Congress. In the interview, which aired on radio and TV, Menendez said that it may be time to address changes in the Cuban Adjustment Act, a federal law enacted in 1966 that grants Cuban citizens permanent residence if they have been present in the US for at least 1 year.
“The Cuban Adjustment Act recognizes those fleeing Cuba as political refugees,” the Senator said, “but if we have a condition where a person comes to the U.S. using a political refugee status … and that person goes to visit Cuba once they are a permanent resident or earlier than that, then that person shouldn’t be considered a political refugee.”
One thing that won’t change, however, is the operating status of the Martís. On July 22, National Security Advisor Susan Rice told a pool of reporters during a White House briefing that despite Raul Castro’s demands to shutter one of the few sources of accurate and unbiased news on the island, TV and Radio Martí will not be closing down.
The need for unbiased and accurate news remains great on the island. In the week since the U.S. embassy opened in Havana, rumors and confusion began circulating about seeking political asylum. To clear up the confusion, Radio Martí immediately began airing a Public Service Announcement detailing that Cubans will not be automatically granted asylum or legal protection at the U.S. embassy; an adjoining report was published on Martí noticias.com.
The network plans to provide extensive coverage of the embassy opening ceremony on August 14, during which John Kerry will be the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit the island since 1945.