NEWARK – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the appointment of Sylvia Rosabal to serve as Director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), overseeing Radio and Television Martí:
“As a network of the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), OCB’s mission is crystal clear: Provide the people of Cuba with ‘objective news and information programming.’ I have also been clear with the Administration that the person leading that mission should be someone with a track record of staunchly promoting liberty for all Cuban citizens, and delivering a message of solidarity between the U.S. and the people of Cuba while not condoning the Castro Regime.
“While I respect Ms. Rosabal's journalism credentials, I do not think she is the right person to lead the OCB. I am concerned that she is of the view of accommodation with the Cuban regime rather than of challenging its human rights violations and denial of democratic freedoms to its people. Therefore, I will be seeking specific information on how she intends to promote the cause of freedom, the principles of a free press and of free speech in Cuba. The OCB Director needs to have a clear plan on how our broadcasting and surrogate broadcasting into the island can serve as a reliable and authoritative source of accurate, objective, and comprehensive news, commentary, and other information about events in Cuba and elsewhere in the context of the Castro regime's authoritarian efforts to control information and access to information.
"Similarly, I will fight any effort to undermine TV and Radio Martí’s role in reaching the Cuban people with information, giving access to those who have been muzzled and beaten for decades simply for trying to fight for their basic rights, to speak their minds, and to broadcast the ugly realities of the Cuban regime.”