Media censorship just doesn’t let up in Miami. On June 13, maverick journalist Max Lesnik gave his last broadcast on Radio WOCN where his programs had been heard each weekday for five years.

Francisco Aruca also learned in April that his daily broadcasts of 17 years would end the same day. Both shows have been replaced by sports programming.

The two Spanish-language broadcasters thought they had negotiated new homes for their broadcasts on Miami radio WKAT beginning the following week. But on their last day, Lesnik and Aruca learned that WKAT, owned by the McClatchy news chain, had disowned their contracts because of views that were “too controversial.”

Aruca, director of Marazul Tours and the progreso weekly.com web site, was allowed to return to WOCN for a two-hour Saturday morning show.

On talk shows and in news coverage, both broadcasters have long inveighed against the U.S. blockade against Cuba, Bush travel restrictions and what they see as Cuban-American laundering of money from Washington to fund anti government plotting in Cuba.

As a student in Havana fighting the Batista dictatorship, Max Lesnik was a friend of Fidel Castro, whom he visited on frequent trips to Cuba. Dissenting from the revolution on tactical questions, Lesnik, a self-described socialist, emigrated to Florida in 1961. Banned from Miami radio until the 1990s, he experienced death threats and bomb attacks against his magazine Replica. The Cuban government honored his brand of independent journalism by awarding him the Félix Elmuza prize in 2007.

Francisco Aruca, who arrived in Florida in 1962 after escaping from a Cuban prison, is likewise no stranger to violent attacks. Offices of his Marazul tour company, which specializes in Cuba travel, were bombed in 1989 and in 1996. The latter incident took place just weeks after Aruca had resumed radio broadcasting.

atwhit @roadrunner.com

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