12 August 2005

give me a vegemite sandwich

Tonight I managed to pull in Russia in the 19 meter band. Rather than use the top level of the trusty parking garage, I tried a new outdoor listening location for weekend nights when the parking garage is busy. A large empty parking lot at a nearby shopping center provided a lot of open space with less interference than I get at the parking garage. Here's an approximate schedule of my listening from tonight (also to be entered in my radio log at a future date):

0430 - 0500 UTC: Voice of Russia @ 15595 khz
0500 - 0530 UTC: Radio Havana Cuba @ 6000 khz
0530 - 0545 UTC: Radio Australia @ 15515 khz

I also listened to the Australian station in short bursts between 0430 - 0530 UTC.

A story I learned about exclusively through shortwave radio is the plight of the Cuban Five, who were arrested in Miami about 7 years ago. They were tried and convicted of crimes such as using false identification, espionage, and conspiracy to commit murder [wikipedia.org]. Imprisonment terms were between 15 years to life.

Just 3 days ago, the 11th circuit court of appeals in Atlanta, Georgia overturned all of the convictions. Radio Havana Cuba has been discussing this story every time I have tuned in. Extensive trial publicity, anti-Cuban sentiment in Miami, and media intimidation of jurors have been mentioned in claims of unfair trials. Now that the convictions are overturned, one of the Cubans wants to see his wife for the first time in 7 years, but apparently is not free to meet with her yet. She was originally under suspicion too, but as she was not formally charged within 5 years of the alleged crimes, she is believed to be safe due to the statute of limitations. (Information in this paragraph is based on a Radio Havana Cuba phone interview with one of the five's lawyers and previous broadcasts.)

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