Cuban poet’s earnings top $1 million

Orlando González Esteva. Photo: BBG

Cuba poet Orlando González Esteva has earned more than $1 million through his work with Radio & TV Martí, federal contracts show.

The former Broadcasting Board of Governors, now called the U.S. Agency for Global Media, paid a total of $81,442,406 to artists, writers and performers from 2001 to 2018, records show. (See BBG’s top artists, writers and performers).

The agency awarded nearly 30 percent of the money – or $24,250,327 – to unnamed foreign contractors. Their names are kept secret in federal records.

The Office of Cuba Broadcasting, or OCB, oversees Radio & TV Martí. The OCB is part of the Agency for Global Media. The next highest money earners after González were:

  • Waldo J. Serrano, at $886,350
  • René López, at $846,831
  • Juan J. Almeida Garcia, at $845,565
  • Lizandra Díaz, at $829,650.

The agency made most of the payments over the past 10 years, although some go back as far as 2001. (See BBG payments by year).
U.S. government contracts for artists, writers and performers totaled $667,951,540, records show. The five agencies that spent the most were:

  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • Department of the Army
  • Broadcasting Board of Governors
  • Immediate Office of the Secretary of Transportation
  • Public Buildings Service

See U.S. government-paid artists, writers and performers.

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