Sunday, March 11, 2007

Being red costs Ramirez some green 

I'd just like to update everyone on some news that tends to fly under the radar. The Venezuelan National Electoral Council decided to levy some fines for breaches of electoral laws. Uh oh, it must be poor Globovision or RCTV about to be the victims of "repression" again, right?

If you thought that, you've been reading too much opposition propoganda. In fact, the first person to be fined will be the president of PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez, who will have to pay about $8,000 out of his pocket for saying that PDVSA is "red". The CNE fined him for campaigning inside a public institution which is illegal.

The second fine was levied against the program on State TV called La Hojilla. La Hojilla is a very hard line pro-Chavez program. It is being fined for having campaign coverage that was too one-sided (jeeze, did the CNE bother to watch Globovision during the campaign? How they escaped sanction is completely beyond me).

Lastly, the oppostion candidate Manuel Rosales had his campaign manager fined for destroying Chavez campaign posters.

What, more Chavistas were fined than opposition? No wonder the opposition media has completely ignored this, not to mention the international media. I guess it doesn't fit well with their notion "repression" being directed against the opposition.

A few weeks ago when the opposition newspaper Tal Cual was fined for satirizing Hugo Chavez's young daughter in an editorial the opposition was quick to cry repression. I wonder why the silence about this? In any event, I imagine Rafael Ramirez will do the dignified thing and just pay the fine - it will be about one months salary for him. Tal Cual's route of cadging money on street corners I'm sure is beneath him.

Lastly, it should be noted that Ramirez's words were at the time loudly and publically appluaded by President Chavez who said he should repeat them a hundred times. Yet he is now being fined by a different branch of the government. So much for the opposition non-sense about there not being any seperation of powers.


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