Opening Remarks by Rodolfo Espinal on behalf of the Dominican government
Dear Fellow Broadcasters, good morning. My name is Rodolfo Espinal, although better known in the shortwave world of the past as Rudy Espinal.
On behalf of the Dominican Government, and especially on behalf of Minister José Rafael Vargas, President of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute, which is the government telecom regulatory body in the Dominican Republic, I would like to welcome all delegates from all the different countries represented here today, with special thanks to my longtime friend and fellow broadcaster Jeff White and the HFCC/ASBU Board for choosing our country for this meeting.
Although shortwave is not a very well known subject in my country — some associate it with the ham radio operation — we have two outstanding periods in history in which shortwave broadcasting played an important role in communicating the existence of this still happy paradisiacal Caribbean island to the rest of the world.
The first one was the late Dictator Rafael Trujillo’s propagandistic attempt to promote the wellbeing of this country and its people under its dictatorial regime and contradict the negative news and opinions made public by adverse governments and the political opposition in exile.
It was through the multiple band and frequency emissions of “La Voz Dominicana” (The Voice of the Dominican Republic) and later “Radio Caribe” that I had my first encounter and experience with shortwave, at the age of 14, in the late 1950’s. My father being a career diplomat, as all other Dominican diplomats, kept himself up-to-date with what was going on politically in the country through the international broadcasts of the government stations, and I kept myself up-to-date with the music and culture of a country of which I was a citizen, but which I had not yet lived in (I was born and practically raised in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles).
The second one — and here I (and my long time friend and broadcaster, Teo Veras, who is joining us on Friday) had a lot to do with its international incidence — was “Radio Clarín International,” which became the first private SW Broadcaster with a special SW programming, and through which I produced the 1978 NASWA and ASWLC Broadcaster of the Year award-winning shortwave program, “This is Santo Domingo.”
For many years we have been using SW broadcasting, but not as specially programmed broadcasting stations, but merely as re-transmitters of the regular programming of those local stations. Famous for their international reach, with barely not more than 1 KW Tropical Band Transmitters: “HIZ, La Voz del Trópico, Radio Universal, Radio Mil”, and since the late part of the 1970’s, Radio Clarín. Some of these stations are still using their SW frequencies as they used to, some have dropped it for economical reasons, and some still maintain their unused Tropical Band frequencies. Radio Clarin’s 50 KW transmitter is still on the air, but broadcasting from Florida as Radio Miami International.
During this meeting we will have a DRM showcase, and we have made special arrangements to have regular local broadcasters and SW frequency holders to attend this showcase, so as to re-encourage the use of the modern, far reaching, and economical DRM digital SW transmitters. If this objective has a positive result, we might, in a very short time, have new SW broadcasting stations pop up in this country. One of them is soon to make history as the first Tropical Band broadcaster using the DRM digital technology, which this week is broadcasting live from Punta Cana, which is my good friend Pedro Estrella’s “Radio Descubrimiento” or Radio Discovery, godfathered by Jeff, and named after the fact that the Dominican Republic is the place where the first European settlement in the New World was erected, and from where the Conquistadores departed to discover the rest of America, including the U.S. through Florida.
Don’t be too surprised, in the very near future, to hear “This is Santo Domingo” on Radio Discovery, or the “This is Santo Domingo” Shortwave Station.
I’m proud of my past, and looking forward to be part of the Dominican shortwave future that is beginning right this moment, and for which we have to thank all of you for making this happening. Again, a very warm welcome to the Dominican Republic (Sept NASB Newswletter via DXLD)