Cuban-Americans in South Florida are organizing opposition to a well-funded effort by Democrats to purchase Spanish-language radio stations in order to suppress conservative voices in the region.
Two political operatives who campaigned for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have formed the Latino Media Network to acquire a group of U.S. radio stations. The startup business has entered into an agreement worth $60 million to purchase 18 AM and FM stations from Televista/Univision. The deal still must have approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
The stations to be transferred are spread across ten American cities in largely Hispanic markets in California, Texas, Florida, Nevada, and New York.
A poll released last week from Quinnipiac indicated that Joe Biden’s approval rating among Hispanics nationwide has fallen all the way to 24%.
The Latino Media Network agreement is not being well-received in Miami, the national center for Cuban exiles and home to the popular Radio Mambi network. Local businesswoman Irina Vilariño recently told the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance that the community would have to be “deaf and blind not to understand the motives” behind the proposed Latino Media Network buyout.
The new network has raised around $80 million to fund the purchase agreement and has been financed by Lakestar Finance LLC, which is associated with Democrat financier George Soros.
Members of the Cuban-American coalition opposed to the buyout have said they are looking at legal claims that could contest the sale. The deal has also been sharply criticized by Florida Republican politicians, including Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Democrat activists and corporate media outlets have said that Radio Mambi and other Spanish-language stations have spread “misinformation,” especially regarding the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Republicans have generally responded by pointing out that those claims are designed to draw attention away from steeply declining Hispanic support for Democratic politicians and policies.
Even though some of the commentators employed by the stations being bought out have assured listeners that there will not be any major programming changes, members of the Miami Cuban community are doubtful.
Radio Mambi started operation in the 1980s with support from the GOP and the Reagan administration. The network has received federal funding for years and sends anti-communist content to nearby Cuba each day.
Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez recalled listening to the network as a child in Cuba with her father. She said that he would never let her change the station as they traveled to school in the morning, and now she follows the same tradition with her own daughter.