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A Note on Radio Caiman

By Don Moore

The following is a response I posted to a question on Radio Caiman was an anti-Castro clandestine station believed to be broadcasting from either Guatemala or Costa Rica with CIA funding. It closed down in 1994.


All indications are that this station is some sort of CIA front, which makes the name Radio Caiman very ironic - and probably in very poor taste by whomever chose the name. There is a very popular tropical music song written in the 1960s called Tio Caiman or "Uncle Caiman" in which the alligator is clearly Uncle Sam. I have a copy of the song on an album by the Chilean group Quilapayun and the song is very funny and VERY anti-American with lots of references about how Tio Caiman gobbles up whatever he wants. Whether one agrees with it or not, it is very well done political parody. This song is so well known through the Spanish speaking Caribbean area, I can't imagine the CIA spooks involved in setting up Radio Caiman didn't know about the song. But, that makes their choice of the name even stranger. Playing up the tio caiman image does no good for how the U.S. is viewed in Latin America by the majority of people who have moderate views. Indeed, it could be interpreted as a type of threat.


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