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La Voz del CID
La Voz del CID is
an interesting clandestine that began mysteriously in 1981. Its programs
were (and still are) the propaganda piece for the anti-Castro group Cuba
Independiente y Democratica, a group that would increase its profile
in the Eightees. Within its first year of broadcasting, the station
was apparently located by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),
the US government, in Florida and was closed down for transmitting without
a license. According to Gerry Dexter, it was "found to be using two
Heathkit transmitters rated at 490 watts, operating from a horse ranch
in Miramar... (It) was discovered to also be using a mobile transmitter
housed in a van. The FCC termed it a 'very professional operation'"
(Dexter, p.53). Following the bust, the FCC officials cabled Washington
to say "This outfit has some big money behind it, they even buy time from
stations in Venzuela and other countries (Dominican Republic), besides
the two Florida transmitters" (Soley 188).
La Voz del CID returned
to the air in 1983 with a flurry of well-produced programs named after
important figuresd in Cuban history that were rebroadcast on both Radio
Rumbos in Venezuela and Radio Clarin in the Dominican Republic, not to
mention its own transmitting facilities that were located somewhere in
Central America. According to Dexter, the group claimed that its
annual production and broadcasting costs exceeded US$750,000 - which came
from "American foundations, businessmen in Latin America and individual
contributions" (Dexter, p.55).
The station was a regular on the shortwave bands
for over ten years on numerous frequencies and suffered from occasional
jamming from Cuban government transmitters. During the war in Nicaragua,
La Voz del CID cooperated with CIA-backed
Radio Quince de Septiembre in variuous activities
(Soley, 188). Much debate was spent arguing over where people believed
it to be emitting from: Guatemala or Costa Rica. But those arguments
were proven to be both wrong.
Things began to change for La
Voz del CID in 1994, when in June WRMI owner Jeff White reported
on Radio Nehterlands' "Media Network" program that it had gone off the
air in May. "Nobody will admit it, of course, but there are a lot
of rumors here in Miami that La Voz del CID
has long been funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and that their
funds were cut off several months ago... They've been appealing for money
publicly here in Miami among the Cuban-American community to keep the station
on the air" (Zeller, p.20). CID had just begun to purchase airtime
over WRMI to supplement its own transmissions, but then vanished from the
air. After a few weeks, it returned to its usual 9941.65, 6305, 7340
and 11940 kHz frequencies.
In August 1997, La Voz del
CID suddenly went silent again after months of rumors that the group
was suffering from financial problems. It reappeared once again in
December 1997 and currently buys time off of commercial US broadcaster
WRMI to transmit its message of freedom to the Cuban people. When
the latest WRMI relays of CID programs commenced, Jeff White revealed that
his sources pointed to El Salvador as CID's "gray" clandestine location.
This station went from being a US-based clandestine
/ pirate, to a covert "gray" clandestine, to finally an overt "white" clandestine.
We will probably never witness another station like this.
Recent activity of La Voz del CID can be found
Dexter, Gerry. Clandestine Confidential.
Universal Electronics. Columbus, OH: 1984.
Soley, Lawrence C. and John S. Nichols.
Clandestine Radio Broadcasting. Praeger. New York: 1987.
Zeller, George. "Clandestine Profile."
The ACE, August 1994.
QSL courtesy of Ulis Fleming.