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Jailed Cuban Dissident Listened Daily to VOA-Radio Marti Show “A Fondo”

November 28, 2012

One of Cuba's most prominent dissidents, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, says the joint Voice of America - Radio Marti program A Fondo kept him informed about news events during his long incarceration in a Cuban Jail.

Ferrer, who had been serving a 25 year sentence in connection with his effort to bring about constitutional changes in Cuba, was released from prison in March.

In an interview with VOA, the Cuban dissident called the hour-long A Fondo, a “very good” show. He said “the particular stories, the news selected for A Fondo, is what gives the show its quality, very professional. I listened to the show in prison on a daily basis.”

The director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Carlos Garcia-Perez, who oversees Radio and TV Martí, says “Mr. Ferrer’s comments are further proof of the great risks undertaken by thousands of Cubans who seek fair and unbiased information from outside the island, as well as the important role of Radio Marti and the VOA in fulfilling that need."

VOA Executive Editor and Acting Director Steve Redisch says it is “always encouraging to hear that our programs are having an impact, and A Fondo is a great example of Voice of America and Radio Marti working together to produce a show that is relevant for our audiences throughout Latin America and the Carribean.”

A Fondo is a Spanish language news magazine and interview program focusing on regional and world news. It airs on VOA from 8 to 9, weekday evenings and on Radio Marti from 4 to 5 in the morning.

Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, is best known as one of the organizers of the Christian Liberation Movement's Varela Project, an effort to collect signatures for a referendum on constitutional change in Cuba. He was sentenced to prison in 2003 during the so called Black Spring when the government arrested dozens of activists on the island.

He was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International while in Las Tunas prison and chose to remain in Cuba following his March release.

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