The sale of short-wave radios is prohibited. They are not to be found in any home appliance store. If you ask, they will just say that they have not come, as if talking of an unexpected visit.
I myself own one that a friend kindly gave me a few years ago. With it, I can find radio stations from other countries, but Radio Martí* – impossible!, at least in Havana. I know that some friends outside the capital manage to pick up the signal. Here, when you find it, it comes accompanied by the tac tac of the interference, which can leave you deaf or an idiot. I have tried hard to disregard the noise, but it’s impossible – the headache you get prevents it. I would like to be able to listen at least to the news, which ultimately is the most important thing. But it is precisely about that, about preventing you from hearing them, so that the truth broadcast by our media will prevail, being the only source of information.
But there is a way you can listen to Radio Martí when there is rain, thunder or lightning. Then, as soon as the storm starts I run to turn on my radio. Sure enough, I manage to hear it, but also under a stressful state of panic of being hit by a bolt of lightning that would be attracted by my dear little device’s waves. When its programming started some years ago , I could hear it perfectly on an old radio on which I would tune to Radio Rebelde*, and physically turning it from one side to the other I would finally manage to have its signal prevail, and it would accompany me in my workshop during my long work hours. So much so that I acquired an addiction to its programs, but like all my previous ones – Coca Cola and cherry bonbons – I was forced to give it up, with the inherent consequences and suffering that, for a while, accompany those who quit a bad habit. Now I am afraid that if I am able to overcome my fear, I will become addicted to thunder and lightning.
* Translator’s Note: Radio Martí is a US government-financed radio station broadcasting to Cuba. Radio Rebelde is a Cuban government station.
Translated by: Espirituana
October 6 2011