Posts tagged ‘Latin America’

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Update: DPRK Institute of International Studies on Development as a Human Right

The following is an update to yesterday’s blogpost on the same North Korean article, but from a different source (Voice of Korea’s German service).
The KCNA article has actually been online since yesterday, although not as prominently as by Voice of Korea who put it right after their daily news bulletin.
As KCNA doesn’t use permalinks, I have copied and pasted their content in English and Chinese, as follows. I’m not aware of the original article’s wording (which can also be found on KCNA’s website), but the English and Chinese versions, with the same content in all paragraphs with about the same emphasis, both adopt a style as seems most fluent in the language they use.

2019_calendar_demilitarized_zone

“DMZ – another Chance for Peace”,
a 2019 calendar co-published by
KBS World Radio and the
DMZ Ecology Research Institute,
sponsored by “the CDF of
Korea Communications Commission

Pyongyang, September 27 (KCNA) — Kim Jin Hui, a researcher of the Institute of International Studies of the DPRK, released the following article: 朝中社平壤9月27日电 朝鲜国际问题研究院研究员金真姬发表了署名文章。文章内容如下:
Shortly ago, UN human rights experts in a joint statement noted that the U.S. unilateral sanctions seriously impede the economic development and the improvement of people’s living standard in many countries and violate their rights to development, stressing “the right to development is a human right that can not be forfeited.” 前不久,一些联合国人权专家发表联合声明谴责,美国的单方面制裁对许多国家的经济发展和个人生活改善产生严重影响,国家发展权遭受威胁,并强调了“发展权是不可剥夺的人权”这一点。
“The right to development is a human right that can not be forfeited” – this is a definition stipulated in the “declaration of the right to development” adopted at the 41st session of the UN General Assembly on Dec. 4, 1986. “发展权是不可剥夺的人权”,这是距今35年前的1986年12月4日召开的第41届联合国大会上通过的“发展权利宣言”中明文规定的定义。
According to the declaration, the world human rights conference held in June, 1993 adopted the “Vienna declaration and action program” which recognized the right to development as a part of human rights. 根据这一宣言,1993年6月召开的世界人权大会通过了承认发展权是人权一部分的《维也纳宣言和行动纲领》。
Despite the lapse of several decades since then, the right to independent development, a due right of a sovereign state, has not been prioritized as a true human right in the international arena but been ruthlessly infringed upon by the U.S. unilateral, illegal and outrageous interference in the internal affairs of other countries. 从此已过数十年,但作为真正人权的主权国家的堂堂权利——自主发展权仍在国际舞台上不被重视,却因美国的单方面非法内政干涉行为一直惨遭蹂躏。
Due to the blockade by the U.S., Cuba has suffered damage amounting to 1 trillion US$ for the past 60-odd years. 60多年来持续的美国的封锁活动导致古巴遭受竟达1万亿美元的严重的经济损失。
Despite the ever-worsening global health crisis caused by COVID-19, the U.S. pressurized the foreign companies trading with Cuba into refusing to provide the latter with artificial respirators indispensable for treatment of COVID-19 patients last year. Worse still, the U.S. toughened the restrictions on the shipment of supplies to Cuba to badly hurt its public health and people’s life. 美国不顾肆虐全球的大流行传染病事态,去年再次施压与古巴交易往来的外国公司拒绝交付古巴疫情防控所需的制氧机。近期还采取措施极力限制对古货运,对该国保健领域予以严重打击,也对民生造成重大障碍。
The U.S. has stretched out its vicious tentacles to politics, economy, military, culture and even daily life in Venezuela, Syria and other countries, crippling their overall economies and stymieing their normal and peaceful development. 委内瑞拉、叙利亚等诸国的情况也是如此,因为伸向政治、经济、军事、文化乃至民生领域的美国的黑手,整体经济陷入萧条,主权国家的正常和平发展受到严重侵害。
The gravity of the issue lies in the astonishing situation that such ruthless violation of the right to independent development is perpetrated under the pretext of “preserving human rights.” 粗暴蹂躏主权国家自主发展权的此类行径,公然打着“维护人权”的旗号,这就是事态的严重性所在。
The U.S. has trumpeted “human rights” more loudly than any other countries in the world. 世上再也没有像美国那样大谈“人权”的国家。
The U.S. has never missed the chance of criticizing other countries for their “human rights performance”, releasing the “country reports on human rights practices” every year to find fault with other countries as if it were a global human rights judge. 美国一有机会无端指责他国“人权问题”,自封为国际人权判官,每年发表“国别人权报告”,对他国人权状况说三道四。
In July this year the U.S. Department of State set the “promotion of human rights and democracy” as a priority task of the U.S. diplomats in different parts of the world and issued an order to examine all means available for performing the task, thus betraying its sinister intention to more intensively and openly meddle in other countries’ internal affairs through “human rights diplomacy.” 今年7月,美国国务院把“人权和民主增进”提出为被派往世界各国的美国外交官员的优先课题,并指令研讨在执行过程中能够运用的一切手段,从而显露出了要更加露骨地加大通过“人权外交”的内政干涉力度的居心。
No wonder, the U.S. abuses the “human rights issues” for putting political pressure on the anti-imperialist independent countries. 尤其,美国把“人权问题”当做镇压反帝自主国家的政治手段。
Not content with criticizing the legally elected Belarusian government as an illegal one engrossed in “violence and oppression,” the U.S. incites the anti-government forces to rebellion. It also engages in a vicious attempt to make a dent in China’s political stability by taking issue with it over Xinjiang and Hong Kong affairs. 美国污蔑合法选举的白俄罗斯政府为专事“暴力镇压”的非法政府还嫌不够,唆使反政府势力制造内乱;还粗暴干涉中国的新疆和香港事务,企图破坏中国的政治稳定。
All these facts clearly prove once again that “human rights” touted by the U.S. are nothing but a trick to easily realize its wild ambition for dominating the world. 一切事实再次清楚地表明,美国所说的“人权”老调只不过是企图轻易实现其称霸世界野心的诡计。
The U.S. is the most heinous human rights abuser in the world that severely disturbs the normal and peaceful development of sovereign states under the pretext of “human rights”. 美国就是打着“人权”旗号,严重阻碍主权国家正常和平发展的世上最可恶的反人权犯罪国家。
Unless the U.S. hypocritical moves under the cloak of “human rights protection” are smashed, it is impossible for each country to achieve its independent development and to build a free, prosperous and new world. 没有粉碎美国虚伪的“维护人权”活动,就不能实现每个国家的自主发展,更不能建设自由繁荣的新世界。
Now many countries resolutely stand against the U.S. human rights farce for curbing their development. 目前,许多国家坚决抗衡阻碍本国发展的美国的人权侵害行径。
The U.S. “human rights protection” racket is bound to end in vain. -0- 美国的“维护人权”活动势必遭到失败。(完)

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Related

Xi Jinping’s Korea War speech, Nov 2, 2020
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Monday, September 27, 2021

“Voice of Korea” comments on the “Path to the Development of Choice” as a Human Right

North Korean foreign radio’s German service read out an article concerning human rights on Monday. As I haven’t found it online yet, I’ve translated it into English to post it here.
This will be a rather unreliable translation as the broadcast was on shortwave, and I may have misread one or another passage of it.

This starts with the author’s name itself. “Kim Jin-ji”*) is my phonetic perception only. The German language makes a difference between male researchers (Forscher) and female researchers (Forscherin). Based on the language used by Voice of Korea, Kim is a female researcher.

But first, some (likely) context to make sense of the North Korean broadcast.

20160500_kbs_world_qsl

From the South: KBS World Radio, broadcasting in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese

Earlier this month, South Korean foreign radio’s (KBS World Radio), in its weekly program on North Korean issues,  touched upon the United Nations general assembly session, scheduled to begin on September 14. The North Korean nuclear issue and North Korean human rights issues were expected to be major topics there, according to KBS.

UN secretary general António Guterres had presented a report in August, on the situation in North Korea, KBS said, and he had shown concern about North Korean prevention measures against COVID-19 that could affect the country’s food security. The UN member states were likely to make another call for resolving the nuclear issue.

Against this background, KBS took a closer look at the criticism of North Korea of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The article read out by Voice of Korea today isn’t related to Afghanistan, but appears to follow the same script.

As far as North Korea’s criticism of America’s Afghanistan policies are concerned, KBS quoted political commentator Choi Young-il:

In the wake of the Afghan incident, the international community denounces the U.S. in light of human rights concerns. This is a great opportunity for North Korea to counterattack. By bringing up the human rights issue involving the U.S. preemptively, the North is condemning the U.S.

and

Countries in hostile relations with the U.S. blame the U.S. for the crisis in Afghanistan and mention the human rights issue. North Korea is moving fast to join them. It might feel pleased to attack the U.S. with no other than the human rights issue, but it has nothing to gain practically by doing so. By using this issue, North Korea may want to create a communication channel with the U.S. Also, it wants to tell the U.S. that North Korea is different from Afghanistan and the U.S. cannot deal with the North in the same way it handled Afghanistan. Pyongyang probably wants to say that it is a nuclear weapons state and it is far more powerful than Afghanistan, so the U.S. should negotiate with the North on an equal footing.

Nothing to gain? In fact, by criticizing the U.S., North Korea may not only draw some (desired) attention from Washington, but it may also be able to become part of a broader front against Western or international sanctions. There may be some common denominators that may be rather easily found between Pyongyang and the rest of the world, such as a rather negative take on Afghanistan, or on the nefarious American blockade of Cuba. Emphasizing indignation shared with otherwise distant countries may provide icebreakers to soften North Korea’s international isolation.

20160600_vo_korea_qsl

From the North: Voice of Korea, broadcasting in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish

Now, here is Monday’s readout by the Voice of Korea’s German service (my translation into English).

Kim Jin-ji Kim Jin Hui*), researcher at the Institute for International Issues, published an article titled “The Inhumane Crimes that obstruct the Path to the Development of Choice”. The article says,
Not long ago, the UN human-rights experts issued a joint declaration. They claimed that by the unilateral sanctions of the U.S., the economic development of many countries and the improvement of individual lives were sharply affected and that the states’ development rights were harmed. They emphasized that development rights were a human right that nobody was allowed to rob. Development right is a human right that must not be robbed. This definition was in the proclamation about development right that was passed on December 4, 1986, at the 41rst UN general assembly.
After this declaration, the World Human Rights Congress in June 1993 adopted the Vienna Declaration that recognized development right as a category of human rights.

Dozens of years have passed since, but in the international arena, the right of the development of choice, a dignified right of the independent state, isn’t cherished as a true human right.
On the contrary, they were seriously harmed by the unilateral and illegal interference of the USA into the internal affairs of other countries. By more than sixty-year-long blockade of the USA, Cuba suffered enormous economic damage of more than a trillion U.S. dollars. Despite the global spread of COVID-19, the U.S. once more pressurized foreign companies trading with Cuba and made them refuse supplies of oxygen machinery that are necessary for treatment of the malign disease. Recently, they have adopted maximum measures for the restriction on goods supplies to Cuba which was a heavy blow to Cuba’s health system and which has created great difficulties for the peoples’ lives. In other countries, too, like Venezuela and Syria, the evil influence of the USA on politics, economics, military, culture and even everyday life stalls the entire economy and seriously impedes the normal and peaceful development of the [unreadable] state.

Great concern is caused by the fact that such actions that gravely harm the right of independent states on the development path of their choice are committed exactly under the guise of protecting human rights. The U.S. are a country that read most loudly about human rights. On every occasion, they make unfounded accusations of violations of human rights against the other countries, and publish an annual report on the human rights situation of the countries as if they were an international human-rights judge. There, they give negative accounts of the human-rights situations in other countries. In July of this year, the U.S. department of state made promotion of human rights and democracy the number-one duty of the U.S. diplomats in many countries of the world and gave instruction to take all kinds of means to their achievement into consideration. Thus, the Americans revealed their dark intention to interfere even more strongly and more openly into other countries’ internal affairs. In particular, they consider the human rights issue a means of political pressur on anti-imperialist and [unreadable] countries. They refer to the legitimate Belarusian government as an illegal regime busy with reprisals and repression, and incite anti-government forces’ internal insurgency.

They also like to mention the issues of Xinjiang and Hong Kong in China, and try to destroy this country’s social stability. All facts show clearly that the vocal human-rights campaign of the USA is just a ruse to easily achieve their global-rule ambitions. It is exactly the USA who are the greatest violators of human rights worldwide that, under the guise of human rights, seriously impede the normal and peaceful development of the [unreadable] states. If the hypocritical ploys of the USA for the protection of human rights aren’t thwarted, neither sovereign development of the countries nor the building of a free and flourishing world can be expected.

Many countries take firm action against the human rights violations of the USA that impede their development. The ploys of the USA for the protection of human rights will certainly be thwarted.

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Updates/Corrections

*) Her name is Kim Jin Hui – her article as translated into English and Chinese by KCNA news agency can be found there.
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Related

“Old lessons learned in Washington”, Sept 6, 2017
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Friday, April 3, 2020

Flying high and low: Radio Taiwan International’s French and Spanish Services return to Shortwave

The transmission site is important,
but a welcoming set of wires won’t hurt either,
especially if you want to listen to the programs
for Latin America from Europe

Radio Taiwan International (RTI) is putting its French and Spanish services back on the air, after an absence of two years. The French programs are broadcast every night at 19:00 to 19:30 UTC on 6005 kHz via Kostinbrod (Bulgaria), for northern Africa and Europe. There are news bulletins at the beginning of every transmission (except, possibly, on Saturdays and Sundays when those first ten minutes may be used for cultural or other programs).

RTI’s Spanish service will be back on air on April 6, i. e. this coming Monday, with transmissions for South America from 01:00 to 01:30 UTC on 5800 kHz, for Central America and Cuba from 02:00 to 02:30 UTC on 5010 kHz, and for Europe from 22:00 to 23:00 UTC on 7780 kHz. (Time UTC means Sunday night, April 5, local time in Latin America.)

The Spanish test transmissions were apparently all carried out by Radio WRMI (Radio Miami International) in Okeechobee, Florida, so that should be the case with the regular transmissions starting on April 6, too.

The decision to make more use of shortwave again was reportedly taken by a new director general at RTI , a man named Chang Cheng (張正) who has apparently been at the helm of Taiwan’s international broadcaster since some time in summer, 2019.

Chang appears to be enthusiastic about shortwave. This isn’t the first time that he is involved with broadcasting, he wrote in November last year, but while he used to think of broadcasting as a rather simple affair – “you speak, you record it, your voice goes on the air, and that’s that” (在錄音室錄完就大功告成,聲音就出去了), he has since learned that this had been a rather low-key description:

Once the recording is done, there’s post-production, once that is done, your voice has to go on air. How can it be transmitted? At RTI, for example, the recording, made at RTI’s main building in Taipei, has to be transmitted from the iron tower on the Taipei building’s roof on microwave, to the microwave station on the top of Yuanshan mountain, and, flying high and low, across buildings and mountain ranges, exit the Taipei Basin, to reach another microwave station there. Several relays later, it arrives at the targeted substation.*)

錄音結束,還要後製,後製完成,還要把聲音送出去。怎麼送?以央廣為例,在台北總台錄製的節目,必須透過屋頂的發射鐵塔,以微波打向高據圓山山頭的微波站,再居高臨下地越過高樓大廈、越過層層山巒,送到台北盆地之外的微波站。經過幾個微波站的接力,抵達各地分台。

The real task awaits us here: by the substation’s high-performance transmitters and all sorts of rigged antennas, the signal is carried out of Taiwan, on shortwave.

然後才是最難的部份:透過分台的高功率發射機與高聳的各式天線電塔,以短波的形式傳送到台灣境外。

Why the fuss? You say that in the internet age, you just have to put your voice on the internet and that will do? Not necessarily (pointing west without comment). Therefore, this sort of flying-pigeon message, the historic long-distance radio wave, reflected by the ionosphere, comes in handy.

幹嘛這麼費事?你說,網路時代,把聲音放上網路不就成了?這可不一定。你知道的,有些地方網路到不了(伸出食指默默指向西邊)。於是「短波」(Short Wave)這種有如飛鴿傳書、將無線電波藉由電離層反射的古老遠距傳輸技藝,就派上用場了。

Chang acknowledges that China jams such signals, but points out that jamming isn’t as watertight as the “great firewall” is.

That of course doesn’t explain why Africa, Europe, and Latin America have now become target areas for shortwave again. But the French department’s mailbag program, on February 15, quoted the management as saying that RTI needed to use all means of communications available to raise Taiwan’s profile, including shortwave.

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Notes

*) substation refers to the actual transmitter sites, such as Tamsui, or, in the past, Tianma substations.
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Thursday, February 20, 2020

RTI’s Spanish Programs (apparently) return to Shortwave

Radio Taiwan International‘s Spanish service informs that there will be test transmissions in Spanish from February 23 through 26, from 01:00 to 01:30 UTC, on 9490 kHz for South America, and from 03:00 to 03:30 UTC on 9500 kHz for Cuba and Central America. Correct reception reports will be confirmed with a QSL card.

2016 special QSL for reports on shortwave transmissions from Tamsui transmitter, New Taipei

La sección española de Radio Taiwán Internacional realizará pruebas de frecuencia por la onda corta de su programación por 4 días, entre los días domingo 23 y miércoles 26 de febrero de 2020 (horario UTC).

Le invitamos a eschuchar el contenido de nuestra programación y nos envíe la calificación SINPO, datos de su nombre y apellido, su dirección postal, la fecha de escucha y el contenido escuchado a nuestro email esp@rti.org.tw a la brevedad.

Fechas de transmisión: domingo 23, lunes 24, martes 25 y miércoles 26 de febrero de 2020 (horario UTC)

Horario y frecuencia:
Sudamérica: 01:00-01:30 UTC en 9490 kHz
Cuba y Centroamérica: 03:00-03:30 UTC en 9500 kHz

Si sus informes contienen todos los datos solicitados, le enviaremos una tarjeta QSL de edición especial como agradecimiento.

[…]

Spanish programs for Latin America were broadcast via WRMI, Florida, in the past, before they ended in 2018. Test broadcasts appears to suggests that RTI’s Spanish department is following the French service, which announced a resumption of its programs (for Europe and North Africa) earlier this month.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Shortwave Logs: Science from the South

1. Radio Havana in English: Science from the South

Charles McKelvey, according to the “American Herald Tribune”*), is an emeritus professor at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, USA, and member of the Advisory Council of the Honorary Section of Political Science from the South at the Faculty of Philosophy and History of the University of Havana, Havana, Cuba.

One might read his books, or one might happen on “Notes on the Revolution”, a Radio Havana Cuba (RHC) series with 40 columns to date, about “third World socialist revolutions in power”, which would, in his view, include China, Cuba, and Vietnam.

The program, to effects unknown to this blogger, is edited by RHC editor and presenter Ed Newman.

Picadura Valleys Cattle Breeding Project, Radio Habana Cuba QSL, 1988

Picadura Valleys Cattle Breeding Project, Radio Habana Cuba QSL, 1988. The project’s prominent role in the QSL series is no concidence: the project is or was run by Ramón Castro Ruz, » the older brother of the two political leaders. Asked by an American journalist in the late 1970s » what he thought about Cuban-U.S. relations, Castro parried the questions “with a shrug and grin: ‘That’s all politics – I leave that to Fidel. All I know about are cows.'”

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*) not to be confused with the “New York Herald Tribune”

2. Radio Ukraine International: reviving 2017

Arne Lietz (SPD, German social democrats) may not have been aware, but he was on the radio on Saturday – on the German program of Radio Ukraine International (RUI, formerly Radio Kiev), that is. And as Russia had already annexed Crimea at the time, and because the Gerhard-Schröder / Martin-Schulz generation have adopted an unnerving pep-talk style*) decades ago which  dominates social dem speeches to this day, I only realized that something was wrong with the broadcast when Lietz referred to Martin Schulz as the the German Social Democrats’ candidate for chancellor.  That, after all, was more than two years ago.

There was no news broadcast, and, therefore, no way to find out about the mix-up earlier. Besides, Lietz was a member of the European Parliament from 2014 to 2019, but lost his seat in the 2019 EP elections.

Similar mix-ups used to happen with Radio Ukraine International’s English service transmissions by WRMI, an American broadcaster in Florida, some three years ago. At the time, WRMI supposed that mistakes in the audio file names sent by RUI had occasionally led to old news going on air. Radio Ukraine International’s German program is currently aired by a shortwave enthusiasts’ association in Northrhine-Westphalia who are operating a shortwave station in Kall-Krekel.

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*) It’s beginning to dawn on me that while there may be other reasons not to vote for the German social democrats, the way they talk may be one of those reasons. They make you feel as if you were ten years old again, and back in sunday school. (God forbid.)

3. Fed Court: Da Silva and Rousseff no part of criminal org

reports Radio Havana. However, a series of legal proceedings concerning alleged bribery continues.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Once upon a time in America

We pride ourselves on our friendly relations and open borders with our two North American neighbors.

Ronald Reagan, US president, November 9, 1985

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Taiwan cuts Shortwave Broadcasts in French and Spanish – here is why it shouldn’t

Cutting Shortwave broadcasts in French and Spanish

The French and the Spanish programs of Radio Taiwan International (RTI) are no longer broadcast on shortwave. On March 5, Radio Berlin-Brandenburg‘s (RBB) Radio Eins media magazine reported that RTI would terminate its broadcasts in German on March 25, i. e. the day when the current international shortwave frequency plan (A-18) came into effect1).

A notice was added by the Radio Eins editors a few days later, saying that RTI’s German service kept denying this information. However, Radio Eins did not name the source or sources of their information, citing rather general “trade circles” (Branchenkreise).

On March 9, in a regular mailbag program, RTI’s German service reacted to listeners’ questions concerning the shortwave issue, and stated that while the Spanish and French departments were indeed to exit shortwave with effect from March 26, the German service’s shortwave broadcasts would continue.

Seventeen days later, the German service’s denial proved correct – its broadcasts have been continued, now on their traditional summer frequency of 6185 kHz, as predicted on March 9.

In its report, Radio Eins also pointed out that Radio France Internationale (RFI) had terminated its shortwave broadcasts for Asia years ago, and that this had also put an end to Radio Taiwan International’s once lower-cost access to transmissions from France (with transmitters located at Issoudun, central France). The two international broadcasters appear to have exchanged airtime in the past.

On its website, RTI hardly (if at all) communicates the decision to terminate the shortwave broadcasts in Spanish and French. However, a month before Radio Eins wrote about RTI’s shortwave closures, shortwave-watching website swling.com had quoted from an RTI email saying that the station’s French and Spanish services would “unfortunately stop broadcasting on shortwave”. There appears to have been no mention of the German programs at the time.

Following a Trend …

RTI is following a trend among foreign radio services from industrialized countries2). As noted by Radio Eins, Radio France Internationale ended its shortwave broadcasts to Asia years ago. German foreign Radio, Deutsche Welle (DW), terminated its shortwave broadcasts in Chinese with effect from January 1, 2012. Three months earlier, DW had ended its shortwave broadcasts in German.

Earlier in 2011, the BBC and the Voice of America (VoA) had announced their Chinese programs’ withdrawals from shortwave (the VoA later reversed the decision, but BBC Mandarin kept to their exit).

One of the more contested decisions to abandon shortwave was Radio Australia‘s. It took effect by the end of January, 2017. The station made a – not terribly successful, it seems – effort to communicate the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) decision.

Radio Australia’s (now abandoned) role in informing Pacific islanders about emergency situations via shortwave was deemed essential by some critics, and Radio New Zealand (RNZ), Radio Australia’s only existing competitor on shortwave in the Pacific region, leapt at the gap left by the Australians.

But funding public diplomacy is hardly popular in most free societies. Slashed budgets may irritate or infuriate the trade or the immediate users of an abandoned service, but they will hardly become known to a wider public. After all, the (noticeable) remonstrators are usually just some listeners abroad, and apart from that, they are no voters.
In RTI’s case, the question – from the audience perspective – seems to be how prepared the target areas are for the termination of shortwave broadcasts. As for France and Spain, the answer seems to be easy: industrialized, reasonably good internet connections, and with only a few people (probably) who would still listen on shortwave anyway.
But there are drawbacks. In general – this goes for countries with a highly developed internet infrastructure and Latin America or North Africa alike – it is much harder to gain new listeners, than to retain existing ones.
RTI’s management (or the lords of their budgets) may have drawn inspiration from reports like ECLAC’s 3), discussing sharply increasing internet use and access in Latin American countries, and the Caribbean.

But the ECLAC, while optimistic about the development and prospects of the internet in Latin America, also notes that no country in the region has at least 5% of its connections with speeds of more than 15Mbps, compared to 50% in advanced countries, and there is a difference of 41 percentage points in Internet penetration between urban and rural areas in the country that has the greatest gap in the region.And a report (apparently published online in December 2016) by Statista, a Hamburg-based market research company, saw the region’s average monthly internet usage at 18.6 hours in 2016. When you leave Brazil – the leading country in terms of monthly internet usage – out of the calculation, the rate will be even lower.

If the trends indicated by the two papers continue, there may be a time when switching off shortwave makes sense (at least when considering the costs, and the pressures from the broadcasters’ funders). But the data suggests that RTI’s decision to do so came too early.

… but neglecting the Facts

One of the reasons that international broadcasters stop using shortwave frequencies is that radio is a medium used by the poor, rather than by the affluent and influential. That’s not how they communicate their decision (if there is communication at all), but the trade’s high-flown jargon suggests just that.

In a press release of May 18, 2011, less than a year before abandoning shortwave broadcasts in Chinese, German (its native language) and Hindi, Deutsche Welle wrote that by focusing on the internet in many regions of the world, “info seekers” would be reached more effectively,

… especially those who are or will be influential in their countries’ public opinion, and people who actively campaign for democracy, civil liberties and progress in authoritarian states, thus strengthening civil society.

… insbesondere insbesondere jene, die Einfluss auf die öffentliche Meinung eines Landes haben oder zukünftig haben werden, sowie Menschen, die sich in autoritären Staaten aktiv für Demokratie, Freiheitsrechte und Fortschritt einsetzen und so die Zivilgesellschaft stärken.

But nobody knows who will call the shots in a target area, ten or twenty years from now. In Venezuela, it’s an ex bus driver now. Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2011, Lula da Silva, reportedly only learned to read at the age of ten, and worked as a peanut seller and shoe shine boy as a child. Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, was born to a subsistence farming family and started his political career as a rural labor unionist.

If they had been born ten or fifteen years ago, none of them would be a likely regular internet user.

Shortwave radio may not matter as a medium, when it comes to commercial viability, as the owner of a North American shortwave radio station admitted in 1991. In that light, Facebook could be a more or less “real” alternative to shortwave radio.

But on “social media”, a foreign radio station is just one “friend” among many. There may be no studies available, but if there were some, they would probably show that shortwave listeners are a much more dedicated audience than internet users.

In short: shortwave radio remains a crucial medium, especially for Taiwan. The country will almost inevitably lose all or most of its remaining “diplomatic allies” in Latin America, as it has lost official diplomatic ties with nearly every country worldwide already. If shortwave remains crucial in Taiwan’s communications with European countries may be debatable, but to maintain Taiwan’s visibility in Latin America, there can be no doubt that shortwave would be worth the (quite manageable) costs.
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Note

1) While KBS World’s German service via Woofferton, England, is announced under the broadcasting station’s name (Korean Broadcasting Station), Radio Taiwan International’s name is ommitted. Instead, the HFCC states the operator’s company name (Babcock Communications) there. The KBS frequency is also operated by Babcock, and also from Woofferton.
2) Japan may be the only exception.
3) The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The report linked to is dated September 12, 2016.

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Related

Inclusive Internet Index, Economist Group, 2018
Abandoning Shortwave & Opportunities, Oct 3, 2014
A bottomless pit of waste, PCJ, around 2014

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Argentine Radio to the World: “Universal Topics”

As part of its “National People’s Congress 1rst plenary session” coverage, China Radio International (CRI) also quotes Adrián Korol, director of RAE, Argentine Radio Nacional’s international radio station.

CRI online, Yin Xiaotong and Li Mingqi reporting — On 13th of March, the “People’s Republic of China Supervision Law (draft)” has been proposed for the National People’s Congress first plenary session’s consideration. As an important environment for national legislation against corruption and for deepening the national supervision organizational reform, the supervision law (draft) deliberations haven’t only lead to heated debate at home, but have also attracted foreign media attention.

国际在线报道(记者尹晓通、李明其):3月13日,《中华人民共和国监察法(草案)》提请十三届全国人大一次会议审议。作为国家反腐败立法和深化国家监察体制改革的重要一环,监察法(草案)的提审不仅在国内引发热议,同样也吸引了外国媒体人的关注。

The director of Argentine National Radio’s foreign broadcasting station, Adrían Korol, believes that corruption has become one of the problems faced by all mankind. China’s supervision law offers important experience for Latin American countries to learn from. “I believe that (this proposed draft) is absolutely necessary, and marks another important step by China on its road of fighting against corruption. Undoubtedly, corruption is currently one of the major issues for all humankind to confront.”

阿根廷国家电台对外台台长阿德里昂•克罗尔认为,腐败已成为全人类共同面临的难题之一,中国的监察法对拉美国家具有重要的借鉴意义,“我认为(这项草案提交审议)是非常有必要的,标志着中国在反腐败道路上又迈出了重要的一步。毫无疑问,目前腐败是全人类共同面临的重大问题之一。

“For many years, corruption has pervaded all aspects of life in most Latin American countries. Fighting against corruption is very important, because corruption has globalized. All countries need to learn other countries’ innovative and efficiently carried-out experience, and match these with their own realities. To propose this supervision draft to the Natonal People’s Congress will undoubtedly be influential.  It will become a sample of how to confront, strike and defeat corruption, it offers important experience for Latin America and countries in many other regions to learn from.”

很多年来,腐败问题已经渗透到拉美绝大多数国家的各个领域。反腐败斗争非常重要,因为腐败已经实现全球化,各国需要学习其他国家具有创新性的、行之有效的反腐经验,再与自身实际相结合。提交到全国人大审议的这份监察法草案无疑将产生重要影响,它将被作为如何面对、打击和战胜腐败问题的样本,对拉美地区和很多其他国家都具有借鉴意义。”

Korol visited China and had cooperation talks with China Radio International earlier this month.

RAE programs are broadcast via WRMI (Florida, USA) and Kall-Krekel (Germany), and through the internet. If sent by ordinary mail, reception reports on shortwave broadcasts are confirmed with a special QSL card in Argentina’s national colors – click picture for more info.

RAE carries a short podcast by Korol, as he addresses RAE listeners from Beijing. My Spanish is rather poor – translation errors are therefore not unlikely, and corrections are welcome:

Hello, friends of Radio Argentina to the World, and greetings from China. I’m Adrián Korol and I’m here on invitation by CRI, Radio China International, to talk personally on a cooperation agreement on which we are working, and about our country, its people, and culture. These are important days here in the People’s Republic of China, for what is called the “two sessions”, a series of meetings of the representatives of the people, where proposals on issues are dealt with which are fundamentally important for life in this country. The two sessions also deal with many universal topics, such as the environment, or the struggle against corruption, something very visible in many parts of Latin America and the world. A topic that catches attention, and positively so, is the eradication of poverty, which happens quite rapidly. There’s also the reform of the constitution as another major issue in the two sessions which are taking place here in Beijing.

Korol also refers to cooperation talks already underway between Argentine television and China’s ministry of communications, and points out three major points of (envisaged) cooperation between RAE and CRI:

[…] content, training, and technology. These topics will have an important effect on RAE, our international service, which completes its sixtieth year this year.

According to some written context added to the podcast, RAE writes that Radio Nacional’s executive director Ana Gerschenson appointed Korol to try to get RAE included into Argentine Television’s (RTA) cooperation with China Central Television (CCTV).

Korol was also quoted by China Daily‘s Chinese online edition (中国日报网), along with media workers from Angola, Australia, and Pakistan:

In an interview, Argentine National Radio’s reporter Adrián Korol said: “I’m from Argentina, and therefore very interested in the direction of relations between China and Latin America. China has left a deep impression on me, and I want to understand the future development between China and Argentina.”

阿根廷国家广播电台记者阿德里昂克罗尔在接受采访时说:“我来自阿根廷,所以我非常关心中国和拉丁美洲的关系走向。中国给我留下深刻印象,我想了解中阿的未来发展方向。”

Asked about his impression of foreign minister Wang Yi, Adrián Korol said that he liked him.

在被问到对外交部长王毅的印象时,阿德里昂克罗尔表示,自己很喜欢他。

Adrián Korol also said that he liked China, and even though he had only come from the other side of the world for the first time, he felt a warmth as if he was at home.

阿德里昂克罗尔进一步表示,他很喜欢中国,虽然是第一次从地球的另一端来到这里,但就感觉跟待在家里一样温暖。

Huanqiu Shibao also carried the story.

Korol’s remarks to CRI about the “two sessions” (see beginning of this post) were duly posted under CRI’s “Our new Era – NPC and CPPCC’s 2018 All-China Two Sessions” category. China’s media habitually collect favorable foreign commentary on events in China, while suggesting that China doesn’t care when reactions abroad are less favorable.

On Wednesday, Xinhua newsagency also quoted extensively from foreign punditry (which can probably best be summed up as “strong China, sunny world”). The report quotes a Japanese professor, a Palestinian economist, an Indonesian think tank’s chairman, a global security expert from South Korea, an Argentine China researcher, another Japanese professor, a researcher at Russia’s “Valdai Club”, a publisher from the US, a Cuban international politics researcher, another researcher from Russia, and a French China expert.

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Note

RAE programs are broadcast on shortwave via WRMI (Florida, USA) and Kall-Krekel (Germany), and streamed on the internet. If sent by ordinary mail, reception reports on shortwave broadcasts are confirmed with a special QSL card in Argentina’s national colors.

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Related

Entrevista al embajador de Argentina, CRI, March 6, 2018

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