The Future of Cuba May Be on Shortwave

Back in ancient times, say before 1995, if you wanted to get up-to-the-minute news from far away places generally ignored by the western press, the best place to get it was a shortwave radio. While you were not guaranteed to get a professional, quasi-objective take on events, you would nevertheless hear voices much closer to the news that what you’d hear from an American broadcast source.

These days, getting English versions of such news on the internet is not too hard. But the internet is still not necessarily the best medium for nations that are much less developed, or politically alienated. Cuba is one of those countries, and with the recent severe illness of Fidel Castro this is an interesting time to watch what’s going on in this island nation just 90 miles off the coast of the US.

On his Cobalt Pet shortwave blog Weatherall discusses listening to Radio Havana Cuba:

RHC is a good station to hear, in my opinion, because they are critical of America’s political and military actions in a reasonable way. I’m not saying that I agree with everything they say, but at least I can understand their viewpoints. And the announcers keep things interesting and fun. …

With Fidel Castro in ill health, I wonder about how involved the government of the USA will become in Cuba’s future. My recent reception report, part 3 for July 2006, mentions Cuban fears that Castro’s death could lead to a forced transition to democracy.

Located so close to the US, RHC is pretty easy to pick up, and Weatherall has posted an English-language schedule to make it easier to find:

0100-0500 UTC: 6000 khz, 9820 khz
0500-0700 UTC: 6000 khz, 6060 khz, 9550 khz

I’ll be making a point to check it out this week, and maybe I’ll even post an aircheck.






3 responses to “The Future of Cuba May Be on Shortwave”

  1. McChris Avatar

    Paul, this is a tangential question, but can you recommend a nice shortwave radio or point to a site that reviews receivers? I’ve been thinking of buying one for a while now, but they’re clearly a niche product these days, and I’m not sure where to look.

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  3. weatherall Avatar

    Thanks a lot for the links!

    To be fair, I typically get schedules for English shortwave broadcasts from – a site that is updated regularly.

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