Former Miami mayor Tomas Regalado is being backed by at least one Washington senator to lead the Office of Cuba Broadcasting..
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has backed Regalado, a native of Cuba, and recommended him for the post, which oversees runs Radio Martí and TV Martí from its headquarters in Miami. The Martís are a multimedia hub of news, information and analysis run by the U.S. Government and targeted toward citizens of Cuba.
On March 29, former OCB Director Andre Mendes stepped down after what the Miami Herald characterized as an internal struggle as well as clashes with executives of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Voice of America. Mendes had served as OCB interim director since Malule González left in September 2017.
Mendes stepped down after he said he was falsely accused by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) of trying to take part in a coup against the head of the BBG.
At the time of Mendes’ resignation, Regalado said it was a shame that Mendes was stepping down, the Herald reported. “[T]hat man, even though he was not Cuban, understood what should be the role of Radio and TV Martí,” Regalado told the Herald. “The worst part is the uncertainty surrounding the stations’ employees and editorial line. That’s a little crazy, at such an important moment for Cuba,” Regalado added.
According to an article in Politico, Rubio has known Regalado since 1996 when Regalado ran for the Miami city commission. According to Politico, sources close to Rubio confirm he recommended Regalado in part due to his long career as a radio and print reporter, and because Regalado’s political views on Cuba align with those of the current presidential administration.
“The mission of TV and Radio Martí as mandated by Congress is to inform the people in Cuba about what is happening on the island and about the island in the world and also to inform and explain to them U.S. policy towards Cuba,” Regalado told Politico. “I know the mission of Radio and TV Martí and I agree and support the president and this administration’s Cuba policy.”