Along with the thaw in relations between Cuba and the U.S. comes a renewed effort in Congress to end Radio and TV Martí. This week, Minnesota Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum reintroduced a measure to end U.S. taxpayer funding of Radio and TV Martí.
Over the 30 years the U.S. has funded these efforts they have cost taxpayers $770 million and in 2015 Cuba broadcast will cost American taxpayers $27 million, according to McCollum.
She characterizes Radio and TV Martí as “outdated Cold War artifacts.”
“Our taxpayers should not be funding propaganda broadcasting. The radio and television broadcasting that we fund is simply not providing appropriate value and should be ceased immediately,” says McCollum.
Office of Cuban Broadcasting Director Carlos Garcia-Perez says the change in U.S. policy concerning Cuba doesn’t change the mission of Radio Martí, telling Radio World he believes Marti programming “is more relevant than ever.”
McCollum submitted the same bill in 2011, but the measure failed to garner enough support to pass Congress.
Her measure comes as eight senators this week announced a bill to end travel restrictions for Americans who want to go to Cuba. The bills come before hearings slated for next week in both the House and Senate on new trade policy with Cuba and the implications for human rights in that nation.