Cuban-American lawmakers cheered Saturday as U.S. military aircraft transmitted Radio and TV Martí to Cuban audiences -- one of the Bush administration's new tactics to undermine the Castro regime.
''For the people of Cuba to get an unfiltered transmission of information is a great thing,'' said U.S. Senate candidate Mel Martínez, who co-chaired the presidential commission that recommended the flights.
Martínez said White House staffers called to deliver the news that C-130 cargo planes had managed to override jamming efforts by the island's communist government.
President Bush allocated $18 million in May to pay for the flights, though lawmakers said the frequency and timing of future broadcasts would remain classified.
''It's a wonderful day for the enslaved Cuban people, and I'm sure Castro is enraged and finding new and devious ways to block the transmissions,'' said U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami.