Well, I bought myself a hand crank shortwave radio (TECSUN Green-168) and I can now listen to shortwave broadcasts from around the world. What is shortwave radio you ask? Well it’s radio broadcast at a frequency of 3-30Mhz typically AM. What makes it special is the fact that it can bounce of the ionosphere and travel around the world. This makes it a favorite of countries wishing to broadcast propaganda into other countries, guerilla movements and radio enthusiasts.
So last night while turning the dial through the frequencies to see what stations I could find broadcasting in english, I found Radio Taiwan International. They were talking about raising children and it was kind of boring. I continued to scroll through the stations and came across some damn good, old salsa music. I stayed on it and it turned out to be Radio Havanna broadcasting in english. Now why would a Spanish speaking country located 90 miles away from the US broadcast loud and clear in english? Gee I wonder.
Anyway they had an interview with an Irish guy who is married to a Cuban woman. In a typical year, he spends six months in Ireland and six months in Cuba. He spoke about how difficult things are in Cuba yet how there was a great feeling of solidarity. He mentioned issues like how hard it is to do simple things like buy a loaf of bread and how Cuba’s economic troubles stem primarily from the blockade. He also talked about how the Cuban people have suffered a long time under various regimes and as such they’ve learned to work together and cooperate. Finally, he conversed with the interviewer about the changes that are occuring under Raul. He mentioned that a lot of people seem to want to know when Cuba is going to become more “Americanized” and he thinks that will never happen. He said that Raul is pushing reforms and that he hopes that amist all the change, the good points of the Cuban people will remain.
My battery died out during a PSA about political prisoners. It was too fuzzy to hear.
Concerning Cuba, I believe the blockade is a bad thing. I’d like to see the US freely trading with Cuba. For those of you concerned about human rights abuses in Cuba I believe a reciprocal economic relationship would lead to more immigration freedom and consequently make it easier for the world to see human rights abuses and help alleviate them. Here’s the part that will get me yelled at, I believe at a community level Cuba is doing a lot of things right. I’m not gullible enough to believe everything this guy says, or even necessarily that he exists, but what little information does come out of Cuba does stress the importance of community. Maybe it comes from the Cuban people being beaten up so much, or maybe I’m just drinking the Kool-Aid, but there’s probably something there.