The pro-democracy group Assembly of Cuban Resistance (ACR) sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) objecting to the purchase of two Miami anti-communist radio stations to a leftist group. The letter, and its objections, came as part of the public commentary period that the FCC is required to offer before it approves any purchase of this type.
Radio Mambí 710 AM, and WQBA 1140 AM had been critical of Cuba, and communism in general for decades. Both stations were recently purchased by Latino Media Network (LMN). The new group was founded by former Obama officials and at least received some of its $80 million war chest from controversial figure George Soros.
LMN has made statements that it is concerned about misinformation being spread to Latin communities. ACR has expressed concerns that the purchase will result in pro-democracy views at the stations being censored. Some of the on-air talent has threatened to quit if the sale is allowed to continue.
The purchase of the two radio stations is part of a larger effort to acquire a total of 18 stations from Univisión Televisa, which is divesting itself of the properties after a failed attempt to enter the radio market in 2015.
The ACR has asked the FCC to examine each sale with a diligent review in order to make sure that conservative anti-communist voices are not silenced. LMN has promised to maintain journalistic integrity but groups like the ACR are not convinced.
There may be an added urgency to LMN’s efforts to stifle dissent given current events. President Biden and his administration are currently polling at a 60% disapproval rating among Hispanics. Republican Mayra Flores flipped a seat in the 34th district of Texas that democrats held for over a century. Political pundits are predicting that there will be a once-in-a-generation red wave in the midterms come this November. If the left loses the Hispanic vote, it will not be able to win another national election for decades.
If LMN decides to make major changes to the content it delivers on-air for its new purchases, it may soon find itself without listeners and on the losing end of its investment.