Radio Marti’s Listeners on the Central Committee of the PCC
Radio Marti’s Listeners on the Central Committee of the PCC / Juan Juan
Posted on June 2, 2014
Radio Marti’s Hertz waves arrived in the Cuban ether May 20, 1985. That
Monday, the island radio scene was disconfigured. Today I want to tell
the same history from another perspective.
Fidel Castro, the man of pride stuck to the military uniform, hated
surprises, and that’s why, long before the day that Senator Paula
Hawkins presented the draft bill, he had already ordered his most loyal
ears, within and outside of the United States, to obtain facts and
information about what later happened. And at the same time, he
installed an invisible army that, like mold spores lurked, awaiting the
opportunity to act.
Havana became another battlefield, where the leader desirous of a
conflict was more excited than an egomaniac passing through a hall of
With a strategist’s skill and the tantrum of a sodomized victim, he
organized a commission of shysters who, lacking no resources, came to
see the transmissions as a flagrant violation of international rights
and not as a simple, alternative and informative radio service directed
towards a population that, if it did not want to listen, could change
On the outskirts of Havana, and with the help of Moscow, an underground
center was created in San Jose, from which was transmitted a sort of
rebel signal with wide programming directed towards the United States;
but this Radio Answer served only to send encrypted information to their
spies. The dreadful programming was unattractive, and its hidden
announcers showed themselves to be “Mr. Nobodies” with more love of
money than sense of ideology.
By then, and whether because of novelty or because we Cubans are like
receptive sponges exposed to the adrenaline provoked by the prohibited,
plus the avidity for information and the satisfaction of curiosity,
Radio Marti won space within Cuban homes.
Such a fact was demonstrated in an old study commissioned by the DOR
(Department of Revolutionary Orientation) to a select group of
sociologists and professors from the University of Havana.
Of all that could be heard through the dark hallways of a hermetic,
Pepto Bismol-taking Central Committee, Radio Marti demystified the image
of its leaders and of its Commander in Chief. Then they had to punish
everyone who listened to it. Here, right here, began the big problem
because many leaders, impelled by the logical shock of seeing themselves
reflected, or because of the dark pleasure of knowing what is said of
their political colleagues, became habitual radio listeners.
The nearest example was my own father who, although it is implausible,
was a fervent follower of the prohibited broadcast; that’s why when he
grew old and lost his hearing, he listened to Radio Marti at such volume
that, by decision of the highest management of the country, it was
ordered that his bodyguards keep their distance when this occurred and
so avoid hearing news that might undermine the integrity of a Revolutionary.
But ancient history to one side and with a view to the future, I believe
that today Radio Marti has an enormous task; that of being the impetus
that helps us, as a people, to decide whether to continue the
confrontation and all that it entails; or begin to heal the wounds of
our Nation in order to found a new country on the basis of respect for
diversity, justice, happiness and impartiality.
Translated by mlk.
27 May 2014
Source: Radio Marti’s Listeners on the Central Committee of the PCC /
Juan Juan Almeida | Translating Cuba –