Saturday, November 22, 2014

Help wanted: Satellite radio broadcaster for Cuba

Photo: NASA
The Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Radio Martí, is looking for a satellite radio broadcaster. The request for proposals states:
The objective in leasing these broadcast services is to leverage the signal quality of Satellite Radio to reach the Agency’s audience in Cuba. The time required by the Office of Cuba broadcasting (OCB), also located in Miami, FL for having its Radio Marti programming to be rebroadcast from a Satellite Radio station is a two hour block between the hours of 9:00pm – 11:00pm ( Monday – Friday).
The full text of the request for proposal is below:

Office: Director, Office of Contracts
Location: Office of Contracts (CON)

Solicitation Number:
BBG50-R-15-0003
Notice Type:
Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
Synopsis:
Added: Nov 14, 2014 4:58 pm

(i) THIS IS A COMBINED SYNOPSIS/SOLICITATION FOR A COMMERCIAL ITEM PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FORMAT IN SUBPART 12.6 AS SUPPLEMENTED WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INCLUDED IN THIS NOTICE. THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONSTITUTES THE ONLY SOLICITATION; PROPOSALS ARE BEING REQUESTED AND A WRITTEN SOLICITATION WILL NOT BE ISSUED.

(ii) Solicitation No. BBG50-R-15-0003 is issued as a Request For Proposal (RFP) and a contract will be awarded using the contracting by negotiation procedures in FAR Part 15.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Court rejects sex harassment case

A woman who sued a USAID contractor for sexual harassment in Venezuela lost her case on appeal, court documents show.
Heather Rome had worked for Development Alternatives Inc., the same company that sent American development worker Alan Gross to Cuba.
Rome was based in Caracas, where DAI was carrying out a project aimed at undermining the government of Hugo Chavez. In 2011, she accused the head of DAI's Venezuela project, Eduardo Fernandez, of misogynistic conduct, according to her lawsuit, filed on Oct. 18, 2011.
Rome said Fernandez harassed and screamed at female subordinates and complained that their office was "as inefficient as a brothel."
Rome said in a court brief:
Examples of Fernandez’s more belligerent and childish behavior catalogued by DAI’s HR Director included:
  • Fernandez uses inappropriate words and gestures when he speaks about females - this is done in the presence of other females and the client
  • Fernandez refers to females as “pussies”
  • Fernandez makes gestures indicating female “boobs” when he refers to certain female visitors
  • Fernandez told the office staff “if DAI girls learn to keep the pill between their legs then we would not have to pay for maternity insurance”
  • Fernandez creates a very hostile work environment when he screamed and shouted at the staff, almost on a daily basis

Report: Cuba does not promote drug trade

Seized drugs in Cuba. Photo: BBC
I came across this report today while catching up on some reading. The State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs released the report in March 2014.

International Narcotics Control Strategy Report

Cuba

A. Introduction

Despite its location between some of the largest exporters of illegal drugs in the hemisphere and the U.S. market, Cuba is not a major consumer, producer, or transit point of illicit narcotics. Cuba’s intensive security presence and bilateral interdiction efforts have effectively reduced the available supply of narcotics on the island and prevented traffickers from establishing a foothold. The Cuban Border Guard (TGF) maintains an active presence along Cuba’s coastal perimeter and conducts maritime counternarcotics operations and patrols. As such, traffickers typically attempt to avoid Cuban and U.S. counternarcotics patrol vessels and aircraft by skirting Cuba’s territorial waters.
Cuba’s domestic drug production and consumption remain low due to active policing, harsh sentencing, very low consumer disposable income and limited opportunities to produce illegal drugs, either synthetic or organic. Cuba’s counternarcotics efforts have prevented illegal narcotics trafficking from having a significant impact on the island.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cuban journalists, professors to visit U.S.

Raúl Garcés Corra. Photo: Mesa Redonda
Nine Cuban journalists and scholars plan to visit California State University, Fullerton, for 10 days starting on Dec. 3.
The visitors plan to get a first-hand look at digital journalism. They'll talk to American journalists and professors. They'll examine the rise of social media in journalism. Some will even do some reporting, a Cal-State source says.
Cal-State scholars, for their part, are interested in assessing changes in Cuban journalism, among other things.
The December visit is a first step toward a full-scale university exchange.
The visitors include:

Cristina Escobar Dominguez
  • Raúl Garcés Corra, dean of faculty of communication at the University of Havana.
  • Deborah Torres Ponjuán, vice dean for information technology and development at the University of Havana.
  • Beatriz Pérez Alonso, a University of Havana communication professor and former chief editor of Cubahora digital magazine.
  • Maribel Acosta Damas, head of the journalism department at the University of Havana.
  • Miguel Ernesto Gomez Masjuan, a journalist, blogger, screenwriter and faculty member at the University of Havana.
  • Liliam Marrero Santana, a professor in the New Technologies Department at the José Martí International Institute of Journalism.
  • Fidel A. Rodríguez Fernández, also a professor in the New Technologies Department at the José Martí International Institute of Journalism.
  • Sergio Alejandro Gomez, international editor of Granma newspaper.
  • Cristina Escobar Dominguez, a reporter, commentator and broadcaster who anchors a talk show about journalism in Cuba.