More news on the jamming....
Cubans questioned about jamming of broadcasts to Iran
By HARRY DUNPHY
The Associated Press
7/18/03 4:54 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States has called in Cuban representatives and asked them to investigate whether jamming of broadcasts to Iran originates on or near the island, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Friday.
He said the meeting took place in Washington on Thursday.
A senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, "We are giving them the chance to find it and close it down."
Boucher said, "We raised the jamming with the government of Cuba. The interference with Loral Skynet commercial satellite transmissions appears to emanate from the vicinity of Cuba and does appear to be intentional."
Iran's Islamic government has accused U.S.-based satellite stations of stoking pro-democracy protests by providing unfiltered information in the country.
While Cuban authorities have long jammed U.S. government broadcasts to their own country just off the coast of Florida, blocking transmissions to a third country in a distant hemisphere would be unprecedented, a U.S. official said earlier this week.
In Ciego de Avila, Cuba, Ricardo Alarcon, president of the Cuban National Assembly, denied the accusations as an anti-Cuban ploy of the United States.
"You never know what they'll come up with to justify aggression against the island," said Alarcon, a top adviser to President Fidel Castro on U.S. affairs. Alarcon's comments were distributed by the Cuban news agency, Prensa Latina.
Kenneth Tomlinson, who oversees the Voice of America, as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, said Wednesday "this has ominous implications for the future of international satellite broadcasting."
Iran itself can't block the programming because the signals must be jammed over the Atlantic Ocean where the satellites are positioned.
U.S. officials believe Iran contracted with Cuba to do the job this month, on the eve of the four-year anniversary of large-scale student protests, "to block the flow of news in a time when they obviously thought they were going to loose control of their own people," Tomlinson said.
He said an interference signal jamming the satellites has been tracked to a facility near Havana -- a claim based on information provided by the satellite service providers. http://www.nj.com/newsflash/washington/index.ssf?/cgi-free/getstory_ssf.cgi?a0676_BC_US-Cuba-Jamming
"Kenneth Tomlinson, who oversees the Voice of America, as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, said Wednesday "this has ominous implications for the future of international satellite broadcasting."
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It's a threat to their future livelihood?
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