Congress Probes Radio, TV Martí Broadcasts

The General Accounting Office said the contracts marked a major change in government practice.
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The investigative arm of the U.S. Congress says the contracting practices of the U.S. government's Cuba broadcasts do not reflect sound business practices, and it is raising concerns about contracts awarded to south Florida TV and radio stations.

The Office of Cuba Broadcasting transmits Radio Martí and TV Martí broadcasts to Cuba to provide an alternative to that country's communist, government-run media. The OCB awarded the noncompetitive contracts to the Miami-based stations in 2006, following a push from the Bush administration to increase the number of hours of broadcasts to Cuba.

The General Accounting Office said the contracts marked a major change in government practice, reports the Associated Press, as the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, which oversees the broadcasts, is generally not allowed to air its programs within this country to avoid the appearance of domestic propaganda.

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