Chavez underestimated the other media
Daniel posts about how Chavez didn’t forsee the effect of modern technology in his attempt to silence all media in his quest for “informational hegemony” and insisting on a news blackout.
Take a look at the photos, for instance.
Access to information is limited all over the country, as opposition leader is detained in Caracas He was released, while many protesters are still in the clink: Calls to release Venezuelan protesters
A top opponent of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has demanded the release of jailed protesters as university students poured into the streets for a third day to protest the removal of a leading opposition TV station from the air.
Alvaro Vargas Llosa calls Marcel Granier Venezuela’s Cool Hero
Leaving aside the obvious argument that the judgment over a broadcast network’s journalistic content should be left to the viewers, and that Chavez’s track record makes him an unsuitable custodian of any country’s morals, there is a deeper reason why the case of RCTV is worthy of universal attention. It has to do with the role that, in the absence of checks and balances in the steady march toward totalitarianism in Venezuela, this network was forced to play.
Forced by circumstances, RCTV had become in recent years something of a surrogate National Assembly, a surrogate Supreme Court, and a surrogate electoral authority. “We are not politicians,” Granier told me a few days ago, “but in a situation like this you cannot avoid being perceived as part of the political struggle by those who lack effective representation or democratic safeguards, and by those responsible for doing away with both. Simply by providing information to a society starved for information we were placed in that position.”
Outlets, particularly television stations, that were once aggressively anti-government have grown docile under threat of sanctions, say press freedom and human rights groups, while the government has used a windfall in oil revenue to start up newspapers and broadcast networks.
Well, cry me a river: After three days of demonstrators being tear-gassed, drenched with water cannons and shot at with rubber bullets, friend of dictators Jimmy Carter has finally deigned to issue a press release Carter Center concerned about possible violence in Venezuela. Jimmy, who gave the blessing to a fraudulent electon, wants dialogue. Words fail me, but only because I strive to maintain a certain level of discourse in this blog.
One thing is clear: The left cannot stand competition in the arena of ideas
Will update this post later today.
4:30PM Adam Housely reports that
Yesterday, the crowds were at their largest and the clashes were at a minimum. At one point, thousands of protesters marched through the streets headed for a neighborhood loyal to President Chavez. Their aim is to deliver letters to a Chavez official, urging the release of 180 people arrested for opposing the view of the president. As the masses approached, the street was blocked by more than 1,000 police officers and National Guard troops. They are shoulder to shoulder, and four to six deep.
For once, both sides showed incredible restraint.
Venezuela note: The closing down of Radio Caracas Television has finally brought the entire Spanish press out against the Chávez regime. The protests got good coverage. Now he’s threatening to close down the country’s other major channel, Globovisión, and CNN. It takes a threat to the media’s status, power, and influence to really get it pissed off.