Bruce Haring – Deadline.com March 2, 2019
At least six employees have been fired at Miami’s Radio and TV Martí in connection with a controversial broadcast report that claimed philanthropist George Soros was “anti-Semitic.”
The Miami Herald reports several employees were let go in the wake of the report, which aired last May. Radio and TV Martí is a US government-backed radio and television broadcaster based in Miami that transmits news in Spanish to Cuba, and offers worldwide access through its website and shortwave radio.
Earlier this week, reporter Isabel Cuervo, her editor Vivian Martínez, producer Janet Lomba and journalist Armando de Armas were notified that they would be dismissed, according to the Herald, which cited a Martí employee who asked for anonymity. Lomba produced the program Levántate Cubain, where Cuervo regularly promoted her Antena Live reports. De Armas wrote an article about a Judicial Watch lawsuit related to Soros that served as the basis for Cuervo’s report. News editor Wilfredo Cancio was also reportedly dismissed in connection with the story.
The firings came after a months-long investigation by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), which oversees the Martí stations and its digital site.
The Soros report by Cuervo aired on the Antena Live program covered various conspiracy theories about billionaire Soros, who is Jewish and has been linked to a number of progressive activist causes. He was described as a “left-wing billionaire of Hungarian-Jewish origin” and a “non-practicing Jew of flexible morals.”
The report was aired in three separate segments, included an interview that was posted to YouTube.
Cuervo and former news editor Wilfredo Cancio were dismissed after now-former Senator Jeff Flake and Senator Bob Menéndez demanded an investigation.
John Lansing, director of the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees Radio and TV Martí, issued a statement saying that the three-part report should have never aired. He called it “a blatantly anti-Semitic video segment about George Soros that was deeply offensive and wholly inconsistent with our professional standards and ethics. OCB should have never aired it.”
“A comprehensive human resources investigation of the incident is now complete. One employee and three contractors have been terminated to date, and the agency has initiated the standard disciplinary process for four additional OCB employees,” said Lansing.