The National Assn. of Broadcasters blasted TV Marti on Thursday as a “Rube Goldberg operation” no longer deserving of government support.

NAB has long been opposed to TV Marti, the U.S. government’s programming service to Cuba, because the Cuban government has retaliated against the service by jamming U.S. radio stations.

Bill Haratunian, an NAB international consultant, told a government panel on Radio and TV Marti that “there is no justification” for TV Marti in an era of huge federal budget deficits.

Late, late, late show

Haratunian claimed that TV Marti is shown in Cuba when most residents of the island nation are sleeping, and that because of jamming, its signal reaches fewer than 1% of the population.

He also noted that bad weather off the Florida Keys has forced down the TV Marti balloon that beams programming to Cuba.

“Why are we wasting our time and our money trying to send a TV signal through this failed scheme?” asked Haratunian.

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