Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Armando Perez Roura Leaves Radio Mambi [Updated]

Tuesday June 30, 2015 was Armando Perez Roura's last day at Radio Mambi (WAQI 710 AM). And I was very surprised to hear the news. That afternoon he broadcast his last radio announcement, seeming very humble and even apologizing to those he may have offended. (That was a shock to me.) For those who don't know yet, Perez Roura is considered the most celebrated voice of Miami's hard-line Cuban exile community.

According to recent rumors, Univision Radio decided to let his contract expire. Owners of Radio Mambi since 2002, Univision Radio had already been planning to retire Perez Roura over a year ago according to Nelson Horta. In 2013, Univision Radio dedicated a studio at Radio Mambi to Armando Perez Roura and celebrated his longtime radio career.

In 2012, both Radio Mambi and WQBA (1140 AM), traditionally the Spanish-language hard-line radio stations in Miami, went through significant restructuring. At Radio Mambi, Armando Perez Roura's most important daily talk program "La Mesa Redonda" was moved to Saturdays, and his daily news program was reduced to a half-hour.

This day was certainly coming, and Perez Roura without a doubt fought a long time to keep his place at Radio Mambi. Changing political landscapes and demographics were important factors here, concepts irrelevant to militants like Perez Roura.

Rumors indicate Perez Roura will move on to rival radio station "La Poderosa" (WWFE 670 AM), but, at 87 years old, he is already beyond the limits of intransigence.

[Update - Univision has provided audio of Armando Perez Roura's last radio announcement at Radio Mambi. And, on the morning of July 1, 2015 Perez Roura made his first appearance at "La Poderosa" (WWFE 670 AM, video here).]

(@0:57) "If I hurt someone, I ask for forgiveness because I am not perfect. But I am a whole-hearted Cuban and I'll never abandon the cause that brought me here."

[A short biography will be posted soon. Below are some related facts.]
  • Armando Perez Roura was born in the town of Ceiba Mocha in Matanzas, Cuba on January 11, 1928.
  • Perez Roura left Cuba for Miami in 1969.
  • Radio Mambi went on the air on October 23, 1985. Perez Roura was co-owner with Amancio V. Suarez, and Jorge Rodriguez (current owner of WWFE 670 AM). Suarez was reported to have made a $5 million investment on the station.
  • In 1995, Heftel Broadcasting Corp. acquired Radio Mambi (among other Miami radio stations). And then in 2002, Univision took over HBC stations including Radio Mambi.