Monday, February 11, 2008

Great Article by Armengol [Updated]

In today's El Nuevo Herald, columnist Alejandro Armengol writes about those who resist changing social dynamics in his article titled "Radio of the Losers." Armengol highlights how conservative radio hosts (including those on Radio Mambi) have been left without a Republican candidate to call their own, and this highlights an inevitable socio-political change.

Noting that Radio Mambi has now lost a preferred Presidential candidate like Mitt Romney, Armengol believes that the "the 'Mambises' [militant exiles] from Calle Ocho" have to face a certain reality this year and advises them to "step out onto the sidewalk and look at the world... because it's changing."

Armengol also noticed how Radio Mambi last week totally disregarded the recent news of Joe Garcia's candidacy to run against Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. I noticed this too last week, and today Radio Mambi did not report on the candidacy of Annette Taddeo against Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. It is likely that Radio Mambi will make all efforts to avoid reporting on the three new Democrat challengers in South Florida this year.

But, Armegol replies:

"The time has come to hear new voices and to elect to Washington politicians who represent an alternative against lies, complacency and the accomplishments of the war politician disguised as public service."

"For many years, radio stations that hijacked the duty of representing the Cuban community carried out a hypertrophic [abnormally overgrown] task, in the manner of emotional complacency for an exiled audience in a country with a different language and culture. They stood out more for their supposed militant character of political struggle, than their progress and informative capacities."

According to Armengol, stations like Radio Mambi have resisted the socio-political changes that surrounds them due to the policies of the Bush administration. As a result, those stations have anchored themselves to "their traditional image of nostalgia, false hopes, and radio combativeness." And, also their favored Cuban-American politicians.

Armengol has no problem with Radio Mambi providing an exclusive soapbox for Ileana, Lincoln and Mario, but they should pay for the airtime, just like everyone else. Otherwise, it is immoral.


The Cuba Journal Blog yesterday links to reported rumors being spread that Radio Mambi's programming director, Armando Perez Roura, has been adamantly opposed to airing any mention of the new South Florida Democrat candidates. According to El Duende (Max Lesnick) on Radio Miami, Radio Mambi's programming director "has given instructions" to deny airtime to the new Democrat challengers in South Florida. Lesnick bases this rumor on "a report that arrived at the Univision headquarters."

Ever since I have been carefully listening to Radio Mambi, NEVER have I heard an interview, report or serious discussion with or about a Democrat, or the Democrat party. Radio Mambi exclusively caters to and gives generous airtime to Republicans and Republican issues. Given that this year marks the first time South Florida Congressional Republicans are being seriously challenged, it is going to be very interesting to hear how Radio Mambi confronts the important issue of the public airwaves for the public interest.

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