Tuesday, August 08, 2006

TV Marti steps up airborne broadcast to Cuba

TV Marti broadcasts to Cuba from an airborne transmitter have increased to a six-times-a-week schedule by using a civilian aircraft contracted by the US government and flying out of Key West. The new flights, which will take place Monday through Saturday evenings, are part of a $10 million allotment by Congress on top of $28 million to cover operating expenses for Radio/TV Marti. The private aircraft likely will replace the Pennsylvania National Guard Commando Solo C-130 that has been transmitting to Cuba. The new broadcast aircraft currently is being used only to transmit TV Marti, but a future generation of the plane possibly will be outfitted with an FM band transmitter for Radio Marti, according to Alberto Mascaro, TV Marti's chief of staff.

The transmission from this plane is the fulfillment of the presidentÆs commitment to break the Cuban dictatorship's information blockade on the Cuban people, and will increase their access to timely and accurate information that they need at this critical time.

The Commando Solo C-130 aircraft had been broadcasting the TV signals for only four hours a week since hurricanes destroyed the broadcasting blimp in Cudjoe Key. The new airplane was described only as a twin-engine G1. No special equipment is necessary to receive the station's signals.

(Source: Miami Herald/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)