Democrats Pressure FCC to Approve Sale of Spanish Radio Stations to Soros-Backed Leftists

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., center, and other members walk out of the West Wing to speak to members of the media following a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, an exclusively Democratic entity consisting of some of the most left-wing lawmakers in the Capitol, published a letter it sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday pressuring it to approve the sale of 18 Spanish-language radio stations to a newly established left-wing media corporation.

The “Latino Media Network,” led by two Democrat party activists with ties to former President Barack Obama, announced in early June that it had raised $80 million and would use $60 million to buy 18 Spanish-language radio stations from the UnivisiónTelevisa conglomerate. Former Obama outreach director Stephanie Valencia and Obama and Hillary Clinton campaign veteran Jess Morales Rocketto have both emphasized that their intent in purchasing the outlets is to combat “misinformation” among the Hispanic community — a common complaint among Democrats as rates of support for their party among Hispanic Americans have plummeted since Joe Biden became president.

Initial reports on the purchase named an investment fund called Lakestar Finance as one of the funders of the effort. The fund reportedly has ties to the Soros Fund Management, run by far-left billionaire George Soros.

The deal prompted a nationwide uproar among Hispanic radio listeners, particularly in Florida, home to the vast majority of Hispanic refugees of socialism and communism in the country. Hispanic Americans in the region especially protested the proposed sale of two Miami stations, Radio Mambí and the former Cubanísima, WQBA, as they have for decades broadcast anti-communist content to Florida and to the island of Cuba.

Hispanics have dubbed the Latino Media Network “Radio Soros” and expressed concern that the group will silence beloved conservative personalities on talk radio.

The FCC has not approved the sale at press time and is accepting public comment on the matter on its website.

Contrary to grassroots efforts by listeners of the radio stations to challenge the same, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus urged the FCC to approve the transfer of the stations to the left-wing Latino Media Network, claiming that the sale would help combat “disinformation.”

“This sale would serve the public interest by ensuring quality, bilingual programming for millions of Hispanics across these states,” the lawmakers’ letter to the FCC read in part, describing Latino Media Network as a “bipartisan” group with a “commitment to diverse programming.” Latino Media Network roots its claim to bipartisanship on the participation of former Republican Party personality Al Cárdenas in the effort, who the Florida Republican Party openly distanced itself from this week, proclaiming, “there is nothing that justifies Soros Radio in Florida.”

“Over the last few years, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) has been troubled by a rise in targeted mis- and disinformation efforts across Spanish language radio,” the Democrats concluded their letter to the FCC. “With this purchase, the public interest is served by ensuring the protection of a myriad of diverse voices across various Hispanic origins and through multiple regions in the United States.”

In a remark published in a press release on the letter, the chair of the CHC, leftist Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), decried the alleged “rampant spread of Spanish-language dis/misinformation” and that handing an Obama- and Clinton-linked entity power 18 Spanish-language radio stations would address the issue.

Florida Democrat Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) claimed in a post on Twitter that, currently, Spanish-language radio is silencing “progressive voices” and that handing control of over a dozen radio stations to leftists would amplify the “silenced” voices — a statement apparently in contradiction with the CHC letter’s insistence that Latino Media Network would protect “a myriad of diverse voices” on the stations.

The CHC has not allowed Hispanic Republicans to be members for over two decades, most recently rejecting former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)’s request to join in 2017 despite his Hispanic ethnicity.

“The CHC isn’t just an organization for Hispanics; it is a Caucus that represents certain values,” the group said at the time.

The CHC letter follows a plea from the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance, a group of anti-communist organizations inside and outside of Cuba, to the FCC to engage in a “diligent review” of the sale and make its financial backers fully transparent.

“Among the 18 stations, there are two iconic Miami radio stations, namely Radio Mambi 710 AM and WQBA 1140 AM, which since their foundation have been key voices of our community,” the Assembly’s letter to the FCC read. “This community is full of victims of Communist and totalitarian rule, be it in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, or Bolivia.”

“We are a community that loves and appreciates the United States of America and what it stands for as a beacon of freedom for the oppressed. We also know how easily these freedoms can be lost!” the letter continued. “Radio Mambi and WQBA have served as a vital and credible source of information for our community and have given voice to those persecuted and oppressed in Cuba and elsewhere. Thus, we are extremely concerned that these two vital radio stations for our community may be silenced if this proposed sale to LMN goes through.”

“The financial backers of this proposed venture should be fully disclosed,” the group’s members asserted. “The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance remains available to you to ensure that the FCC has as much information as possible before making such an important decision for our community.”

The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance joined the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association and other concerned Hispanic Americans at a press conference this month in opposition to the purchase.

“Latino Media Network is a newly formed business venture led and controlled by social activists who espouse a leftist progressive ‘woke’ political agenda,” Silvia Iriondo, the head of the Mothers Against Repression in Cuba, said at the event, held at the Bay of Pigs Museum in Miami. “In these days of cancel culture, where censorship of conservative views and values has become commonplace, we have grounds to be extremely alarmed about the imposition of an ideological agenda contrary to our community’s spiritual and moral values.”

Rafael Montalvo, the president of the Brigade 2506 that fought in Bay of Pigs, said on behalf of the veterans, “we are insulted by this action of selling our media … to a leftist organization.”

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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