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HavanaJournal.com: Cuban Americans

Radio and TV Marti employees living on “the bottle” in Miami

Posted September 02, 2010 by publisher in Cuban Americans.
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By Varela | Progresso Weekly

The American monster created to topple the Castro government by supplying a propaganda alternative to the Cuban people – Radio and TV Martí – was spawned during the Cold War.

The funny thing is that, in Miami, RTV-Martí is called “the Martí Bottling Company.” (We Cubans look for humor even in funeral homes. We say: “Look how much rouge they ladled on the stiff.”)

“The bottle” is a Cuban euphemism for “sinecure,” meaning a cushy job that requires little or no work. And “the bottle” is a way to make a living that we inherited from the republican Cuba, a practice much joked about and just as much criticized.

Even starting from the premise of a source of alternative propaganda, very few people in that bottling company earn their salaries making any propaganda. Instead, they show up at the office and, at the end of the month, pick up their checks for their influence, friendship, family relationship or sexual availability, whether female or male.

That has gone on from the days of the Chinese Salvador Lew to the days of free-handed Pedro Roig, who has just been dumped under cover of Miami’s most-often-used political euphemism – “he resigned.”

Everything at the “Martí Bottling Company” is a funnel for federal money, i.e., an extension of Miami’s anti-Castro industry.

Already at the start of this decade, scandals were being uncovered – in El Nuevo Herald, written by Rui Ferreira – that exposed inflated paychecks of up to $80,000 a year. No one could tell how those employees filled their workdays, not including their three-hour lunches. For example, Olga Connor (at the time director Lew’s girlfriend) made $800 for two hours’ work – whatever the work was, I won’t go into detail.

Thus, out of the pockets of American taxpayers flowed – flow – hundreds of millions of dollars for every half hour of alleged programming, for every fabrication broadcast toward Cuba.

And then, to make things worse, came the 2006 scandal of the Miami Moonlighters, brought to sunlight by Oscar Corral in The Miami Herald.

The case involved journalists paid by private firms, who simultaneously collected from the U.S. Government, a conflict of interests and violation of ethics decried by every journalism standard in every journalism school in the United States.

The double-dippers included none others than Montaner the Good, Wilfredo Erculano Cancio, Olga Connor, Juan Manuel Cao, the daughter of Aguirre (the guy from Diario Las Américas), and Miguelito Cossío, news director for Channel 41 and the producer of Oscaraza, who, among others, was paid at the not-so-shabby rate of $200 per hour. Only nine or ten beneficiaries of federal dollars were publicly exposed, but it is well known that the trough served about 20.

These salaries are more than merely significant, because these “Cuban journalists” pocketed more cash than an attorney experienced in environmental problems, a high-court jurist, or a NASA scientist, to mention just a few professionals who get their nice salaries directly from the U.S. Government.

Damn, how costly it is for us American taxpayers to fund alternative propaganda aimed at the governments we don’t like. Some gentlemen-in-exile waste millions of dollars in a federal project that supposedly should be heard throughout Cuba, from Cape San Antonio to Maisí Point.

And supposedly should spur 11 million Cubans into taking to the streets against their government – not 11 old ladies with gladioli in their hands.

At least, that’s what the payer should demand. But that’s not what the payees deliver.

And because it is natural that the yanquis should want to control their budget, they dumped Pedro Roig and his lieutenant, Luis Zúñiga, a kind of Calle Ocho political sergeant with a flat dialectical encephalogram who became a journalist.

Two of CEO Roig’s latest and worst mistakes were to bring into his bottling company his own nephew, Albertico Máscaro, to look out the windows and count bottle caps for a salary of $100,000 per annum, and to hire as programming director one Christina Sanson ( http://www.poder360.com/article_detail.php?id_article=4644 ), whose résumé was drawn from her fantasy, not from her academic experience, a self-described graduate from every university under the sun.

And, of course, when the investigators confronted Roig with Mrs. Sanson’s fraudulent curriculum vitae, he had no choice but to say that he had hired her primarily because, well, she was a patriot.

The sad thing about the cynicism of these bandits is that they defile Martí‘s name when they slap it on a bottle factory – green bottles, to boot.

Member Comments

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On September 02, 2010, publisher wrote:

Crazy.

Then these people donate to politicians in order to keep the useless Radio and TV Marti funded and to keep the Embargo in place restricting your freedom to travel rights.

What a scam and it’s your tax money at work.