U.S. Senate Democrats, arguing that Radio and TV Marti have failed to make any visible inroads in Cuba, recommended Monday the stations be moved from Miami to Washington and folded into Voice of America.
"It's disappointing that after 18 years Radio and TV Martí have failed to make any discernable inroads into Cuban society or to influence the Cuban government," said Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, in releasing a committee majority staff report.
"U.S. civil society programs may have noble objectives, but we need to examine whether we're achieving them," added the Massachusetts Democrat, who favors easing U.S. sanctions on Cuba and engaging the island's government.
The report, written by the committee's majority staff, recommended that the stations and their parent, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), be moved from Miami to Washington and their operations be "subordinated" to Voice of America, the worldwide U.S. government broadcaster to "ensure that programming is up to VOA standards."
The stations also should focus on "quality programming," it added, to better compete with what it described as recent improvements in Cuban government programming that include shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Friends and The Sopranos.
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