Thanks to the government shutdown, national parks are closed, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be sent home without a paycheck, and all federal government activities considered non-essential will effectively halt.
However, controversial and ineffective government-sponsored broadcasts to Cuba through Radio and TV Marti will continue with little change. In fact, the stations are ironically producing stories on the government shutdown. Meaning, the federal government is paying to report on the fact it can’t pay for things right now.
According to an FAQ released by Marti’s parent organization, the Broadcasting Board of Governors has determined that the broadcasts are “foreign relations essential to the national security,” and will continue on. Though “evergreen and pre-recorded material will be used to the highest extent possible,” breaking news and high-priority live news programs will continue on. Employees needed to maintain the broadcasts and produce those programs will remain employed with no furloughs.
The station’s digital efforts and website will also continue. Ironically the federally-funded news website .
Marti’s anti-Castro propaganda broadcasts are produced in Miami and beamed into Cuba. The broadcasts are meant to counter the Cuban government’s tight control on media in the country and their own pro-Castro propaganda. The legality of the broadcasts have been questioned by several organizations, both in America and internationally. Cuba is able to effectively jam the signal, especially the TV broadcasts. A study found that less than a third of one percent of the Cuban population watched TV Marti.
However, even during a government shutdown TV and Radio Marti will broadcast on.