The big news this week: Chavez’s war against freedom of expression, and his closing 34 radio and TV stations in the country.
BREAKING NEWS: As I posted this, Lina Ron y grupos afectos al gobierno atacaron sede de Globovisión Noticias 24 reports that Globovisión’s headquarters has been attacked with tear gas. Here is Globovisión’s live Ustream podcast and Twitter feed, and YouTube video,
group from a political party aligned with President Hugo Chavez Monday stormed the headquarters of Globovision, a news network that is facing a mounting offensive by the government that could shut it down.
About 35 people riding motorcycles and wearing flags from Union Patriotica Venezolana (UPV), a political party that supports Chavez, entered the network’s headquarters threatening personnel with guns and throwing tear gas, Globovision workers said in interviews broadcast by the news channel.
Images from security cameras transmitted by Globovision showed the men surrounding the channel in their motorcycles, wearing UPV flags on their backs and throwing devices that appeared to be tear gas.
Interior Minister Tarek El-Aissami said the government “energetically rejects” any violent actions. He said the government would take measures against the perpetrators of the attack regardless of who they were.
The images broadcast by Globovision show a woman the network says is Lina Ron, a UPV leader and a radical Chavez supporter. In the past, Ron has appeared side by side with Chavez at mass gatherings and participated in joint press conferences with the top brass of the president’s socialist party.
In February 2008, Ron led a group that stormed the episcopacy in Caracas after leaders from the Catholic church criticized Chavez. The president at that time condemned Ron’s actions, though months later appeared with her in political rallies.
Also don’t miss Pajamas TV’s exclusive interview with Honduran President Micheletti on Hugo Chavez, Cocaine & American Media. While you listen to the interview, bear in mind that deposed president Zelaya has declared that he will continue to change the Constitution upon his return
At the Economist: Clarification: Bolivia and Venezuela
In our recent story on Bolivia (“The permanent campaign”, July 18th), we stated that “Venezuelan troops helped quell a rebellion centred on the airport at Santa Cruz in the east in 2007”. Both the Venezuelan and Bolivian governments deny this (see Letters), and Venezuela’s government has publicly asked us to retract this assertion. We based our statement on television footage aired at the time which shows a Venezuelan air force plane and uniformed Venezuelan personnel at Santa Cruz airport shortly after it had been seized by the Bolivian government from the local authorities. No official explanation has been given for their presence. However, we are happy to clarify that this footage does not prove Venezuelan troops played an active role in quelling the rebellion. We have placed the television footage on our website.
Fuga de capitales en Argentina por valor de 7.860 millones, Capital fleeing Argentina totals over $11 million US dollars.
‘We Will Not be Brought to Our Knees’
In a SPIEGEL interview, ousted President Manuel Zelaya, 56, discusses the coup in his native Honduras, the lack of intervention from Washington, his political ties to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his hopes to unseat the regime by peaceful means.
A fan of Zelaya sent this post, Honduras: The Future is in the Air
US: Illegals Freed From Dictates Of ObamaCare
This week’s posts and podcasts
Chavez closes 34 TV & radio stations
Venezuela shuts down 34 radio and TV stations, UPDATED
The FARC’s Swedish rocket launchers
Zelaya will continue to change the Constitution upon his return
Chavez’s war against the media: 15 Minutes on Latin America
Is Obama doing Zelaya’s bidding? and other questions on Honduras