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V O A Site in Belize

Updated: Aug 1

Voz de América, VOA BLZ (Punta Gorda, Belize )

In the past I have used the old Voice of America (VOA) site in Belize as my antenna farm for V31KW.

With the end of the Cold War and its related proxy battles in Central America over, the U.S. VOA propaganda broadcasts were no longer a high priority for the VOA . That site was on a unique salt waterfront property which was great for antennas, with 220 acres of cleared land, fully fenced, containing a number of buildings gen/sets and fuel tanks, as well as twenty well anchored broadcast towers, each two-hundred feet or higher (Rhombics and Distributed-fed Curtain Antennas). This was my best antenna farm ever!!!! as V31KW

The site also had a local MW on1530/1580 BELIZE VOA (50 kW) - this station VOA Punta Gorda was also closed, 15 September, 2002. The proposal to convert to R.Martí was denied. In Punta Gorda, the International Bureau of Broadcasting/Voice of America (IBB/VOA) operated a medium-wave radio relay station which broadcasts to the neighboring countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and others. It had been a fixture on the southern coast of Belize for almost two decades, the Voice of America compound south of Punta Gorda was handed back to the Government of Belize. The shortwave facility, which began broadcasting in 1984, ceased operations on 15 Sepetember 2002. With the end of the Cold War and its related proxy battles in Central America, the U.S. propaganda broadcasts were no longer a high priority, particularly as America’s attention shifted toward events in the Middle East. The agreement signed today between Foreign Minister Assad Shoman and U.S. Ambassador Russell Freeman terminates the lease on the facility. While the sophisticated electronic equipment was shipped out by V.O.A., the Government of Belize was left with 220 acres of cleared land, fully fenced, containing a number of buildings and fuel tanks, as well as twenty well anchored broadcast towers, each two-hundred feet high. The departure of V.O.A. means the loss of around twenty-five jobs, many as security personnel. A number of the workers are now employment at the U.S. Embassy in Belize City.

Below the land has grown back to jungle






73

K0UO/V31KW

General Steve Walz


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