US-funded Cuban network fires staff for ‘anti-Semitic’ report on Soros
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US-funded Cuban network fires staff for ‘anti-Semitic’ report on Soros

Segment on Radio and Television Marti raised far-right conspiracy theories about billionaire philanthropist; network apologizes for airing it

George Soros speaking in Berlin, September 10, 2012. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images via JTA)
George Soros speaking in Berlin, September 10, 2012. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images via JTA)

JTA — At least eight staff members of a US government-funded media company that broadcasts in Cuba have been fired for airing a segment that referred to George Soros as a “multimillionaire Jew” who was “the architect of the financial collapse of 2008.”

The three-part report on Radio and Television Marti, which broadcasts news to Cuba to promote American foreign policy interests, also called Soros a “left-wing billionaire of Hungarian-Jewish origin” and a “nonpracticing Jew of flexible morals” and raised far-right conspiracy theories about him.

The original broadcast aired in May; it gained traction at the end of October when a blog on Cuban issues, The Cuban Triangle, raised questions about the broadcast after Soros received a bomb threat.

The firings come after a months-long investigation by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which oversees the Marti stations, the Miami Herald reported. The office falls under the jurisdiction of the US Agency for Global Media, or USAGM.

John Lansing, director of the USAGM, issued a statement Wednesday which said the report should have never aired.

The report was “a blatantly anti-Semitic video segment about George Soros that was deeply offensive and wholly inconsistent with our professional standards and ethics. OCB should have never aired it,” Lansing said in the statement.

Soros, a Holocaust survivor and philanthropist who funds liberal and pro-democracy causes, has been a frequent target of the far right in the United States and abroad, who often invoke anti-Semitic tropes to exaggerate his influence in politics and economic affairs.

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