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The title of this podcast is broadcasting freedom. So, just how does a country go about doing just that? When Ronald Reagan was running for the presidency in March 1980, before he ever sat in the Oval Office, he said, “we must use our neglected ability at communications – Radio Free Europe, the Voice of Liberty, The Voice of America to call attention to the power of freedom” and the true spirit of democracy. While America had been criticized for their efforts to broadcast the truth about communism, the Soviets maintained a broadcasting radio network in 84 languages, 2000 hours a week. Moments after his inauguration, President Reagan authorized our international communications agency to increase its efforts in every way, shape and form. By late 1981, right after the declaration of the martial law in Poland in December 1981, U.S.-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe expanded their radio broadcasts. These broadcasts continued during the martial law. In order to get radios to them, they were smuggled in ingenious ways, hidden in lard or other products. The imprisoned Solidarity workers in Poland listened regularly and said they could receive all stations despite the Soviets effort to jam the radio signal. And those who were imprisoned said these broadcasts sustained them, buoyed their spirits, and helped them remain strong.
Let’s go back and remind ourselves about Voice of America which began during WWII.
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