Radio and Television Martí broadcasts to Cuba from the United States government started again Monday, according to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, after a trashcan fire forced the temporary evacuation of the headquarters of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in Miami the day before.
The building that houses Martí and their website, Martinoticias.com, reportedly sustained damage due to an accidental fire caused by a lighted cigarette left in a container in a designated smoking area outside the building, a BBG press release stated. While windows broke due to the heat, no one was injured and sprinklers were automatically set off.
Carlos García Pérez, director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), said he was grateful for a quick response from firefighters, and for the continued work of the station’s broadcasters through the ordeal.
According to the BBG, representatives of OCB and the General Services Administration have said that it could take a week or more before employees can return to the central newsroom, where the most extensive damage was done.
Martí journalists are currently preparing to provide live coverage from Brussels of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought presentation. The prize will be given to Cuban opposition movement, “The Ladies in White,” which is made up of wives and other women supporters of jailed dissidents, the BBG said.
Back in 2005, when the group was initially honored with the award announcement, the Cuban government would not let the women travel to receive it. As representatives for The Ladies in White travel to Belgium this week, it will be the first time many have been allowed outside Cuba, according to the BBG release.
In Cuba, Radio Martí is available on 1080 AM and 1260 AM (Radio Caracol).