The U.S. government paid at least 10 journalists in southern Florida tens of thousands of dollars for coverage that undermined Fidel Castro's communist government in Cuba. The Miami Herald has fired three journalists who received payments from the U.S. Office of Cuba Broadcasting.
All three journalists were fired after the Herald learned about their conflict of interest. Each had received payments from the U.S. government, apparently for appearing as guests on radio and TV broadcasts run by the U.S. Office of Cuba Broadcasting.
Robert Beatty, the newspaper's general counsel and vice president of public affairs, cited a need for trust, accuracy and integrity, saying, "we are compelled to act, and to act decisively, and we did."
Beatty says the employees worked for the El Nuevo newspaper, a Spanish-language publication owned by the Herald.
Seven other Miami journalists also received regular payments from the government, ranging from $1,500 to almost $170,000 since 2001. The reporters apparently appeared on TV Marti or Radio Marti, two broadcasts run by the U.S. Office of Cuba Broadcasting.