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More Notes on La Voz de La Liberacion

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The following item appeared in DX LISTENING DIGEST 1-187 (December 1 2001) and it appears here with permission of the author, Glenn Hauser.

** GUATEMALA [non]. Don`t miss this week`s ``This American Life,`` which includes a long segment about R. Liberación, the CIA clandestine instrumental in bringing down the democratic left-wing government of Jacobo Árbenz in 1954.

From roughly 9 to 34 minutes into the Dec 1 show is a segment by Nancy Updike, starting with interviewing Nick Grace (of Clandestine Radio Watch), who has listened to all 54 tapes of R. Liberación (accessiblized by FOIA??? Not clear). Numerous clips are included, but they keep talking over them!!!! Does it never occur to radio producers that this is extremely irritating and frustrating for their listeners? Just because you *can* fade down and talk over, does not mean you *should*!

Some notes I made while listening: R. Liberación announced frequency of 3420 kilociclos (JBA as they were fading down to talk over). It was on the air from May to July, 1954, and was nothing but lies, pretending to broadcast from the jungles of Guatemala; actually, 80 percent of the programs were pre-recorded in Opa Locka, Florida, and sent by diplomatic pouch to the transmitter site in [Somoza`s] Nicaragua. However, from June some of the broadcasts were made from the `field`, evidenced by improperly grounded equipment producing a constant hum, but still not really from within Guatemala. Broadcasts started with Guatemalan national anthem, and included chimes typical of TGW and other stations in that country; slogan: ``Dios, Patria, Libertad``.

The broadcasts were really a drama, including a staged fake attack on the station by government troops, with the station abruptly going off the air, only to return two days later victoriously claiming that the government could not keep them off the air. It was really BS, including seemingly coded messages, and the announcer at one point referring to an excessively ``military`` time as ``9,300 hours``. But this so shook up the populace, and Árbenz, that he eventually resigned, only to be replaced by a succession of repressive military dictators, thanks to us --- spelt U-S, and the CIA.

There is a lot more in the 25-minute item than I have mentioned here, including recollections of someone who actually listened to Radio Liberación in 1954, and named one of the announcers, who is involved in the present government, so many years later. This American Life is available ondemand via website (tho maybe not the latest one yet), http://www.thislife.org and for numerous further airtimes on webcasting public radio stations, consult: http://www.publicradiofan.com/cgi-bin/program.pl?programid=28 (Glenn Hauser, OK, Dec 1, DX LISTENING DIGEST)

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