PRESS RELEASE July 15, 2004


Brothers to the Rescue, an organization committed to promoting a nonviolent change to democracy in Cuba, acting in consequence with the measures announced by the Bush Administration, which are intended to hasten the end of the Castro regime and a return to democracy in the Island, declares:

BTTR has long advocated for three measures to be implemented by the US government: 1) The criminal indictment of Fidel Castro; 2) Meaningful support for the internal opposition in Cuba and 3) Radio and TV Marti to reach the Island.

The announcement of the recent measures include two of our requests: The bolstering of the signal of TV Marti, together with support for the internal opposition.

We strongly believe that these two measures, which do not have a direct effect on family relations, can truly accelerate the end of the Castro Regime: The opposition, as well as the Cuban People, desperately needs means of communications as well as the up to date impartial information of a news service.

These two measures are mutually supportive and count with the almost unanimous approval of our community.

The delay in TV Marti reaching Cuba has been blamed on the cost of providing and running a highly sophisticated and expensive military C-130 aircraft, which is equipped for other uses in other countries. The argument of financial viability falls on its own merit, when confronted with the equipment used by TV Marti in the past and with BTTR’s own experience.

TV Marti has used for years a static balloon, anchored near Key West, for its transmissions. Its shortcomings are many:

Line of sight communication is not possible due to the 90 mile distance to Cuba and the earth’s curvature, a low power limit imposed by the small load and the equipment the balloon can carry, the limited altitude to which the balloon can be raised due to prevailing winds fluctuation, the fact that a unique fixed signal can be easily interfered, etc.

BTTR’s own experience in communications made possible a simple demonstration on February 24, 2003, when video and sound were transmitted and received simultaneously both in Havana and the Florida Cays. This transmission was independently documented by Miami’s CH-41 news and the press in Cuba. One of our very small airplanes, with a crew of three, using simple amateur equipment accomplished the pre-announced feat.

Today, we propose to invite our membership as well as our community, if the US government agrees, to undertake the task of privately organizing and funding an operation intended to provide TV Marti with the missing requirement to succeed: An adequate flight platform from where to make the transmissions at no additional cost to the taxpayers.

Based on our past experience, we believe that the cost involved in this operation, namely the leasing and the operating of the appropriate aircraft, should not run much higher than our previous rescue missions in the Florida Straits.

We did it before. We proved it can be done. If the political will to act exists: there should be NO MORE DELAYS FOR TV MARTI!