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Life in Cuba Today Portrayed in New VOA Series

VOA airs three-part series on life in Cuba as the post-Castro era approaches

Washington, D.C., February 12, 2007 - Beginning tonight, the Voice of America will air an exclusive, three-part series on life inside Cuba as the post-Castro era approaches.

The series, entitled Reporter's Notebook, was shot on the island two weeks ago by a freelance team on assignment to VOA who had gained surreptitious access to Cuba. Through candid interviews with ordinary Cubans as they go about their lives, the series seeks to shed light on Cuba's current economic struggles, its government's efforts to control media and its citizens' desire for a better future. Images of those interviewed were withheld to protect their identities.

"Cuba's future is the subject of a great deal of speculation, particularly since the illness of Fidel Castro," observed VOA Director Dan Austin. "These stories, filmed on the ground in various parts of the island, give our international audience an extraordinary, first-hand view of life in Cuba today as well as a look at the changes at least some Cubans hope will occur once Fidel Castro passes from the scene."

Reporter's Notebook will be broadcast on television outside the U.S. by numerous VOA language services. In addition, video highlights will be streamed through VOA's website, Reporter's Notebook is part of a larger VOA television, radio and Internet initiative to provide coverage and analysis of the evolving situation in Cuba to its international audience.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.