October 11, 1983

The Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act (S. 602), which I signed on October 4, 1983, was adopted with broad bipartisan support in the Congress and responds to an important foreign policy initiative of my administration: to break Fidel Castro's monopoly on news and information within Cuba. For the first time in the 25 years of Communist domination of Cuba, the Cuban people will be able to hear the truth, and to hear it in detail, about Cuban domestic and foreign policy. The Cuban people will be in a better position to make Cuba's leaders accountable for their conduct in foreign policy, economic management, and human rights.

I would have preferred to place Radio Marti under the Board for International Broadcasting instead of the Voice of America, because the distinct nature of its mission is akin to that of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Nevertheless, I am satisfied this legislation will permit the new Cuba service to broadcast programs that promote freedom in Cuba, while maintaining the historic high standards of the Voice of America for accuracy and reliability. This kind of broadcasting is 25 years overdue.

Note: As enacted, S. 602 is Public Law 98 - 111, approved October 4.