Television Martí has won an Emmy award for its informative production that examined the plight of Cubans trying to flee to the United States.
Isabel Cuervo, Alfredo Jacomino, José Valois, and Ricardo Quintana were honored with a 2015 Suncoast Regional Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS).
They each received a NATAS statue and certificate at an award ceremony on December 5, 2015, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for their work on Cambio de Ruta (Change in Route), which fell into the programming category of Societal Concerns.
“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences,” said Malule González, Director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which oversees TV Martí. “Isabel, Alfredo, José, and Ricardo all committed themselves to making Cambio de Ruta a huge success. They deserve such a prestigious award. Our producers and journalists were following this story a year before the Cuban migration crisis caught the attention of the worldwide press.”
Cambio de Ruta highlighted the growing number of Cubans who are using Latin American countries as jumping off points to reach the United States, and who find themselves living in uncertainty without the chance of reaching U.S. shores or having the ability to go back to Cuba.
The show first aired in December 2014 and collected a series of Martí reports from the region, documenting the human tragedy and abuses that Cubans suffer as they travel north. Ecuador, Cuba’s ally in the region, eliminated entry visas for Cubans in 2008, helping to kick-start this latest wave of migration.
Television and Radio Martí have been at the forefront in reporting on a wave of Cuban migration across the Americas. The Martís are providing critical information—and for many are the only source of news—on this emerging crisis, which has been fueled in part by fear of a change in U.S. immigration policy. They are giving daily updates on the perilous and often tragic journey many of the migrants undergo.
Today, streams of Cuban migrants are traveling illegally through Ecuador, Colombia and Central America to reach the U.S. border. Many of them are stranded in the jungles between Panamá and Colombia and in the Chiapas region of Mexico. An estimated 7,800 Cubans alone are stranded in Costa Rica.
The problem has worsened since the U.S.-Cuba normalization talks began more than a year ago. Much of the crisis is attributed to the lack of progress on the part of Cuba’s government to improve economic conditions for citizens. Many Cubans are also concerned that the U.S. may eliminate the Cuban Adjustment Act, which provides for a special procedure that allows Cubans to gain permanent residence in the U.S., now that diplomatic relations are restored.
On New Year’s Day, TV Martí aired a special follow-up program to Cambio de Ruta titled CUBA: Migracion en Tiempos de Transición (CUBA: Migration in Times of Transition).
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Contact Emilio Vazquez
Staff Director, Radio & Television Martí