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May 29, 2007



It is sad to see these "Leading voices" support the silencing of a private medium, while making blatantly false allegations, based on the ignorance of most British citizens of the real situation in Venezuela.

First of all, the decision to close RCTV, or "not to renew the license" or RCTV's vaporization in Newspeak, is NOT based on their alleged coupmongering. If that were the case, why take the measure now, five years after the coup? Besides, channel 4, Venevisión, owned by the Cisneros group, was far more "coupmongering". Mr. Cisneros actually conspired to overthrow Chávez, something that cannot be said of Mr. Granier.

Second, how did these "leading voices" arrive at this 90% of private media "virulently opposed to Chávez"? Do they include print, radio and TV stations? Most TV/VHF stations are either state-owned or, if privately-owned, have been cowed into submission by governmental pressure (channel 4 is a prime example, THAT is why it is not being closed, sorry, that is why their license is not being revoked). So, it is a lie to say that 90% of Venezuelan media is "privately owned" and "virulently opposed" to Chávez. The government has been actively purchasing radio, print, and TV media, including the Daily Journal, the only English-language daily.

An organization that cannot be accused of "coupmongering" or "imperialism", Reporters Without Borders, has unequivocally condemned Chávez's caprice (the elephant in the room, of course, is the fact that the decision to close RCTV was Chávez's, his own personal decision, without appeal of any kind).


Chávez is creating one, two, many Pravdas in Venezuela. You can be sure that TVES will not allow dissident voices. By the way, what a wonderfully democratic way to create a "participatory" TV station, by fiat from the Supreme Leader.


Whatever the politics of RCTV, surely it must be a bad thing for democracy to close down media outlets for their political positions. If supporting overthrow of a democratically elected government was a reason not to license a TV station or newspaper, what would the outcome be for the left press in the UK? Come to think of it, I'm sure I've read articles advocating revolution in Red Pepper...


Good point, BobFromBrockley. This is what Trotsky had to say about freedom of the press in a capitalist society (and no sane person has argued that Venezuela is not a capitalist society): "Theory, as well as historic experience, testify that any restriction to democracy in bourgeois society, is eventually directed against the proletariat, just as taxes eventually fall on the shoulders of the proletariat."

I recommend that Chávez's lackeys read Trotsky's entire article: http://marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/08/press.htm

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