Camagüey, the birthplace of the pioneer of Cuban Radio, Luis Casas Romero, treasures a rich tradition, almost a century old too, of the development of this means of communication in the province.
By: MIOZOTIS FABELO PINARES (NATIONAL RADIO AWARD)
Camagüey has milestones in that path initiated by the mambí musician, with the airing of the first Broadcasting station, outside the country’s capital, 7AZ, on January 16, 1924.
According to the references of the local newspaper El Camagüeyano and the testimony of the announcer Rafael Valdés Jiménez, preserved in archives, the city begins its radio history from room 221, of the Plaza Hotel, where the transmission equipment is installed, which maintains the signal in the air until 1962.
Numerous stations mark the flowering of radio broadcasting in the 1930s, which was consolidated in the 1940s with the so-called “monopolistic stage” of radio and the commercial and advertising boom.
In the midst of this growing panorama, another station appears, Radio Cadena Agramonte, which revolutionizes the entire broadcasting system with a new style, rhythm and tone of locution, which immediately captures the preference of the audience.
On June 9, 1957, the company then called Radio Cadena Agramonte SA, inaugurates the studios on the upper floors of the building located at 215 Avellaneda Street, later transferred to the Plaza de los Trabajadores, where they currently operate.
In January 1959, there were 16 Medium Wave stations and one Short Wave station in the territory, which at that time included the current province of Ciego de Ávila and the municipalities of Jatibonico and Amancio Rodríguez, Sancti Spíritus and Las Tunas, respectively.
With the creation in 1962 of the Cuban Radio Institute (ICR), Radio Cadena Agramonte became the provincial station of Camagüey, with a power capable of covering the current territory of this province, Ciego de Ávila and something else.
Then the plant was identified with the music of the song, Cuba how beautiful is Cuba, until after the commemoration of the Centenary of the fall in combat of Ignacio Agramonte, and the premiere of the song El Mayor, by Silvio Rodríguez, the chords of the emblematic piece, which became a hymn for the people of Camagüey, identify the signal of Radio Cadena Agramonte.
Until 1969, the programming was preferably informative, musical and varied, with spaces also directed to specific segments of the population, children, women, peasants and young people.
As of that date, the station begins to produce its own dramatized programs in the genres of soap operas, historical serials and non-serials, police, theater and stories; to which would be added informative and varied programs with dramatizations. This is how the Grupo Dramático was born, which today is honored with the name of the presenter, Nino Moncada.
Since the early years of the 1970s, news programming begins to strengthen; Gone is the so-called “rubber and scissors” journalism; The Provincial Radio Newscast goes on the air and then the spaces are expanded with the Summary at the closing of the transmissions of the plant; the News Bulletins, and the Informative and Social Facilitation Magazines, today recognized through «Camagüey al día» and «Meridiano».
Radio Cadena Agramonte broadcast for the first time 24 hours a day during the 1970 harvest and at that stage the duplex transmission with CMKC, from Santiago de Cuba, also marks a milestone in the live program “Together for the Ten Millions”.
Currently, under the leadership of the MSc. Alicia Sosa Velazquez; the station is the parent plant of the Provincial Radio Chain, to which ten municipal stations are integrated, and the last one, created in Sibanicú, is number one hundred in the country.
To the group of journalists, broadcasters, program directors, sports commentators, sound producers, musicalizers, advisers and actors, specialists and support and service workers are added to guarantee a varied programming, which covers
24 hours a day by the Medium Wave and the Modulated Frequency and also, the web page, with real audio on the Internet, created 15 years ago.
The years of the so-called Special Period demonstrated the value of the “newspaper without paper and without borders”, as Lenin described Radio, the force of “the heavy artillery of the Revolution”, in the words of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, in the ideological battle against the enemy and in times of Covid-19, it was the effective company in days of isolation, it took medical advice to every corner, it multiplied guidelines and recommendations, and also transmitted encouragement, confidence, security that we would get out of the pandemic ; and he did not stop delivering medicine for spirituality, through education and culture.
In Camagüey, the Provincial Broadcasting System, with its parent plant Radio Cadena Agramonte, which celebrates 66 years of continuous work, lives and works for the people and the Revolution.