A Miami-based television station opposed to the régime of ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro is to use a Grumman Aircraft G-159 Gulfstream 1
as an airborne radio and television transmitter during the forthcoming baseball World series. Radio Martí, financed by the US government's Officeof Cuba Broadcasting, transmits Spanish-language radio and television broadcasts to Cuba on short and medium waves.
The radio station is to use the twin turboprop, based in Key West international airport, to broadcast the Major League Baseball World series, which pitches the best teams from the eastern and western US leagues
. The Cuban government
routinely jams the signal of Radio Martí and the airborne transmitter is an attempt to evade Cuban jamming technology, which is limited to stationary transmitters.
In October last year, Hurricane Wilma knocked out the station's antenna and transmitter, cutting the signal entirely. A Lockheed C-130 borrowed from the Pennsylvania National Guard has transmitted a 4h segment of on the occasional Saturday. The G1 replaces the C-130 and other airborne transmitters mounted on airships in the Florida Keys, the island chain that lies close to the Communist Caribbean island. The aircraft is currently retsricted to US airspace.
The station will broadcast between 18:00-23:00 every night during the World Series following several weeks of testing. It is understood that outside greater Havana reception is better than inside the Cuban capital.
Cuba is one of few countries outside the USA to follow professional baseball.