Date: 07-Mar-90 10:40
From: Phillip Dampier
Subj: Cuba's Credit Line Gets The Ax...
Radio Moscow announced this week it was turning off its English language
mediumwave broadcasts on 1040 kHz to North America and force Cuba to turn off
the transmitter to stop interference to U.S. radio stations.
The Radio Moscow broadcasts, operating for almost three years, have been a
perennial problem for U.S. broadcasters because of interference the estimated
300 kw transmitter causes stations that occupy the same frequency.
The announcement was made February 26 by Vladimir F. Petrovskym the Soviet
deputy foreign minister.
In addition, sources say high level Soviet officials have told Cuba
privately that retaliating against TV Marti by turning up transmitters to jam
America's mediumwave broadcasts could result in the cancellation of Moscow's
broadcaster assistance to program. Sources believe Moscow has formerly
financed almost all of Radio Havana under the guise of using one of their
transmitters to rebroadcast Radio Moscow on shortwave.
Precisely when Radio Moscow will pull the transmission off the air is not
yet clear, but Dr. Leonid N. Dobrokhotov, part of the Soviet delegation,
mentioned March 15th as the final day for Radio Moscow on mediumwave in this
But Moscow made it plain to U.S. officials that they want access to American
homes on mediumwave and VHF with Radio Moscow features in return for turning
off their service in Cuba.
U.S. broadcast officials said that they were very willing to accept Radio
Moscow programming, as long as the programming was interesting and in tune
with American listening habits.
In related news, Moscow has again launched complaints about Radio Liberty
broadcasts to their country, calling them continued interference in Soviet
domestic affairs. Officials from Moscow said that Radio Liberty's Azerbaijani
service became hysterical when reports about the recent strife in that part
of the Sovet Union became public. Announcers from the service became
emotional during the broadcasts and at least one reportedly lost control of
himself on the air.
The talks have fueled speculation again that 1990 will be the beginning of
the end for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, with the transmitters being
turned over to the Voice of America for a single U.S. government radio voice
to Eastern Europe and the USSR.