GAO Report Slams Radio/TV Marti Contracts
July 15, 2008 at 5:38 PM (PT)
The GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE has ripped the agency that oversees RADIO MARTI and TV MARTI in a report released TUESDAY, charging that the INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING BUREAU awarded over a million dollars to UNIVISION Spanish Talk WAQI-A (RADIO MAMBI) and AZTECA AMERICA affiliate WPMF-LP/MIAMI in no-bid contracts.
The report alleges that the agency did not follow proper federal procedures when granting the contracts, which the BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS says were justified under provisions allowing for no-bid contracts in emergencies (at the time of the deals in 2006, FIDEL CASTRO was turning over power in CUBA to his brother RAUL). RADIO and TV MARTI broadcast to CUBA from the FLORIDA KEYS; the contracts were intended to use the MIAMI-based signals to reach more Cubans while the Cuban government jammed the primary RADIO MARTI signal.