No Mas, No Meet

America's favorite propaganda boondoggle is deteriorating and the president doesn't care

Coursen, a Republican who runs a Washington, D.C. consulting business, knew the board's status was declining as sharply as Radio Martí's ratings. But he complained anyway. In September 1998 Coursen asked for San Roman's dismissal. He cited the OCB director's "multiple management failures and his concerted effort to frustrate the PAB from carrying out its statutory oversight duties." This request followed an evaluation by a panel of journalists that concluded Radio Martí was plagued by a lack of professionalism and objectivity. The administration didn't even bother to issue a brush-off statement in response to Coursen's letter.

In January 1999 the White House released a list of suggested nominees to fill the four PAB vacancies. This included Clinton's choice for chairman, Miami labor leader José "Pepe" Collado. Six months later the president hasn't submitted names to the Senate. "The Clinton administration has found it easier to just cruise instead of making the board effective or changing it," says Richard Nuccio. He asserts the administration has avoided making decisions on Cuba policy.

On June 4, 1999, Coursen decided to ask the Department of Justice for a legal opinion on the administration's reasons for preventing the PAB from meeting. Coursen wondered why other federal advisory boards were continuing to convene. No opinion has been issued.

"It's a Kafkaesque situation," concludes a former Radio Martí employee who asked to remain anonymous. "Except that might be doing Kafka a disservice."

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