Radio Reloj*, Again /

Yesterday at 6 PM, I turned off the little AM-FM radio with which I “inform” myself. In Cuba, they don’t sell multiband radios, an urban legend affirms that if you take one of these to a State-owned repair shop, it will be returned to you mutilated and you’ll no longer be able to hear Radio Netherlands, the BBC, the VOA, or Spanish Foreign Radio.

There still remain — very well thought out — a few Selena brand radios left from the Soviet era. In the store they sell a little Chinese radio made especially for Cuba because it is presumed that it runs on solar batteries, and even comes with a crank to wind up a generator, something perfect in a season of storms — and even for when there aren’t storms, but they’ve taken the electricity down. All good basic features, only mine only seems to work when it’s connected. I have taken them down this radiophonic road, but I have this old habit of getting up and turning the radio on — always on Radio Reloj — so habituated is my BIR-04 to this station that when I try to change the station, the static is intolerable and it won’t tune anything well, so on Radio Reloj it stays (this isn’t so much the radio’s fault as it is mine that I have it all the way out on the stove).

According to the news summary at 6, Gadaffi continued on without dying and ETA continued on as usual. A broadcaster whose function is to give news and the time to the minute, fills its space with ideological propaganda. They don’t even have the editorial decorum to start every half hour; I know because I performed an exercise in patience starting at one in the afternoon. They add pearls like kid’s park for children, repeatedly mispronounced words and other mistakes. If someone important (and professional) at the Radio and Television Institute will listen to more than the time, the local manager will have to open a self-employment business. But that comrade should enjoy all the trust, because the “news source par excellence” doesn’t give the news: that which it gives is trouble.

*Translator’s note: Radio Reloj — “Clock Radio” — is a propaganda broadcast station which features a mind-numbing metronome ticking off 60 beats per minute …

Translated by: JT

October 21 2011