'Static From Radio Marti'

June 07, 1985

It is ironic that a bastion of freedom of the press and the free flow of information would come out to attack the newly inaugurated Radio Marti in an editorial (May 21), "Static From Radio Marti."

Even more ironic is that in your closing paragraph you advocate, "open lines of communication" with Cuba while at the same time calling this effort to offer an alternative source of information to the Cuban people "a losing proposition."

What you worry about is communicating with Fidel Castro, not with the Cuban people. And even though to you he represents them, nobody there elected Castro. Even if you may misconstrue his ascent to power as an election, there have been no meaningful elections there in 25 years.

You prejudge the efficacy of these broadcasts without considering what they may mean to the hundreds of thousands who would rather be somewhere else and who have no other "escape" options. Likewise, although these broadcasts will not topple Castro they may plant the seed of democracy in the minds of many, who unlike us in the United States, don't know yet the true meaning of the word "choice."

As to Cuban retaliating broadcasts you seem to ignore the fact that for many years Castro's radio stations (AM and shortwave), as powerful or more than any other on earth, broadcast his message, subversive or otherwise, and his version of the news 24 hours a day, day in and day out, in several languages. You can hear it from a car radio in many cities in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and with shortwave sets all over the world! And unlike us, he doesn't care what President Reagan thinks about that!

Castro's ban on Cuban exiles visiting relatives will be short-lived, I predict. Cuban exiles have to pay three to four times what native Americans pay to visit Cuba. In American dollars. It is one of his fail-safe sources of hard currency, preying on the weakness of human emotions over conviction and duplicating similar systems in operation all over the Communist world.

As far as taking verbal swipes at his enemies, Reagan has to go a long way to match Castro, who must have written the book on this subject.

So, don't worry so much about what Castro thinks or may or may not do. Worry instead about freedom, about truth and about what Cubans lack and what they need to know.


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