MIAMI—The interview itself was extraordinary, to say the least. Radio Marti, the U.S. government-funded 24-hour radio broadcast directed at Cuba from Miami, aired an interview in August with Cuban adult film star Angelina Castro, the first interview with a porn star since the station was founded in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, complaints about the broadcast from both Cuba and the States have since forced the station to remove the interview from its website.
According to Global Voices, Castro (pictured above) appeared on a show called "1800 Online," which is hosted by Juan Juan Almeida and Lizandra Díaz Blanco, who normally discuss such issues as "internet-related initiatives and citizen journalism in Cuba." This time, however, they invited Castro on to talk about her journey from Cuba to the States when she was 12, and her subsequent decision to make adult films as a way to pay off her student loans after graduating from college.
"She soon fell in love with the work and has since become a celebrated porn star and producer in Miami, a major hub for adult filmmaking and websites in the US," reported Ellery Biddle. "The actress spoke at length about her desire to 'break stereotypes' about the industry by showing the public that acting in adult films is 'a job like any other.'"
Reaction was pretty much immediate, and mostly negative. "Bloggers on both sides of the Florida Straits reacted to the program with indignation," reported Biddle. "While flatly rejecting the mission of Radio Marti, Norelys Morales Aguilera, a state journalist and blogger in Santa Clara, Cuba, was deeply offended by the program."
Biddle quotes Aguilera as saying, "It had seemed that the Yankee propaganda machine had used all of possible techniques and vehicles [in an effort] to make Cubans feel disgust towards the Revolution and to want to migrate. But they had yet to try [promoting] the idea that one could dream of prospering in the paradise of North America where one can enjoy the 'freedom' to convert oneself into a 'star' of the pornography industry."
On the flip side of the coin, however, U.S.-based Cuban blogger and scholar Emilio Ichikawa was far more understanding. "If what Diaz wants is an opinion and nothing else, then it seems to me that the RADIO MARTI program featuring actress Angelina Castro was more transparent and healthy for the minds of compatriots than the pedagogical nausea that he produced on his program today," he said. "As for the repercussions that all of this can have for freedom in Cuba, obviously I think that the smile and sense of humor of Angelina Castro are more liberating than a televised critique without clear objectives, as Diaz has given."
Despite the refreshing departure from its normal programming, the station eventually buckled under pressure. "Although Ichikawa was not alone in defending Online 1800 and Ms. Castro," reported Global Voices, "sharp criticism from multiple voices in Miami’s Cuban community appear to have caused the station to remove the August 1 interview from their website. Interested readers can download a recording of the interview here."