Radio República: shortwave broadcasting 24/7 on a budget

In this Miami Herald Op Ed piece, Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat, the national secretary of the Cuban Democratic Directorate, defends his organization and their clandestine station, Radio Republica. It’s worth noting that in an effort to use their limited funds effectively, and to get their message into Cuba, they use shortwave radio as their medium of choice:

(Source: Miami Herald)

Radio República, the Directorate’s 24-hour, seven-day-a-week shortwave radio station, has provided a voice to Cuba’s resistance from the smallest provincial towns to the largest Havana neighborhoods. Its format has been strategically designed to enhance the natural self-defense mechanism of nonviolent struggle generated by Cuban society. Costing between $1.5 million to $2 million a year, Radio República’s budget accounts for over 50 percent of the Directorate’s annual funds from federal grants. These costs are far below the annual budgets of both public and commercial shortwave radio stations.

Likewise, it is undeniable that Directorio has made a vital contribution to the changing attitudes of the international community towards the Castro regime. The Cuban pro-democracy leadership has moved from international neglect to international recognition, winning prestigious awards like the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize and nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in the process.

[…]The truth is that the testimony of hundreds of civic resistance leaders throughout the island shows that Radio República has become an essential tool for social organization.

Read the full Op Ed article on the Miami Herald website.

Though they carry a different message, the choice in shortwave radio is the same for Charles Caudill and WCB.

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