Skip to main content
The Sound Kitchen

Cuba and the U-S: spies and development workers

Audio 09:36
David Franklin/Getty Images/A Terrade

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about the Cuban - US prisoner and non-prisoner swap. There’s some loving music for St. Valentine’s Day, as well as listener dedications. All this, and the new quiz question, too. So click on that little “Listen” arrow above, and join in!


Hello everyone!

Welcome to The Sound Kitchen. You can catch the programme on-the-air every Saturday, at 4:52, 6:22, and 7:52 universal time. You’ll hear the winner’s names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you have grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and tune in every Saturday.

This week’s quiz: On 27 December, I asked you about the prisoner swap which had just taken place between Cuba and the US, following the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In addition to the formal prisoner swap, there was an American released from a Cuban prison for humanitarian reasons. I asked you to send me the name of that prisoner, the name of the agency he was working for, and what he was doing in Cuba when he was arrested.

The answer is: Alan Gross. He was a sub-contractor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an organization whose mission is illegal in Cuba. He was caught smuggling electronic equipment into the country; when he was apprehended, he was carrying a high-tech cell phone chip, which allows the user to make satellite phone calls without being detected. The Cuban government accused Alan Gross of “Acts against the Independence and Territorial Integrity of the State”; he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison, of which he served five. He became quite ill when he was in prison, and the Cuban government agreed to release him at the same time as the official prisoner swap.

The winners this week are: Muhammad Nasyr from Katsina State, Nigeria, and Hans Verner Lollike, from Hedehusene, Denmark, both RFI Listeners Club members; Ms Resha Prakash, from Kathmandu, Nepal; Mrs Fatema Khaton from the Lolona Listeners Club in Naogaon, Bangladesh, and Lamin E Touray, from Serekunda, The Gambia.

Congratulations, winners!

This week’s question... you'll have to listen to the show to participate! You have until 23 March to enter this week's quiz. The winners will be announced on the 28 March program. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer … and, if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


To our new mailing address:
Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux


By SMS … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen cell phone !!!!
Dial your country’s international access code, or “ +”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win an RFI Radio, wireless computer mouse, or Mp3 player, click here:

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here:


Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Page not found

The content you requested does not exist or is not available anymore.