Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's sad, just sad... 

There really isn't too much I can say about this. I simply find it really depressing. I certainly share the people at Venezuelanalysis's desire for social justice and a greater and more widely shared economic prosperity but I really had hoped that they also had enough of a commitment to freedom of speech and democratic values to call the Venezuelan government on it when it clearly transgresses.

Sadly, as today's article shows they don't seem to:

Mérida, May 13th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuela's National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) began inspections of all radio and television stations in the country on Tuesday, two days after President Hugo Chávez vowed to put an end to the irresponsible behavior of one of the largest television stations, Globovision.

"This is going to stop. We are no longer going to tolerate this crazy man with a cannon firing at the whole world! Enough!" said Chávez on his weekly presidential talk show on Sunday, in reference to the director of Globovision, Alberto Ravell. "One thing is criticism, and another thing is conspiracy," he said.

Shortly after a brief earthquake near Caracas last Monday, Ravell reported unofficial information before authorities had made informed declarations about the situation, and used the occasion to bash the government for not responding quickly enough. The National Assembly subsequently requested that CONATEL punish Globovision for the incident.

The government and civil society organizations have strongly criticized Globovision for its distortion of events surrounding the April 2002 coup d'etat against Chávez which favored the coup plotters, its virulently anti-Chávez spin on the news, sympathy for violent anti-government protestors, and its biased coverage of last November's regional and local elections.

I wonder if the folks at Venezuelanalysis would think it right that the FCC investigate CNN for having unflattering coverage of the U.S. governments handling of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, consistently implying that the U.S. government was inept and incompetent, and often disseminating information which the U.S. government itself had not made public?

I don't have a crystal ball. I don't know where this is all ultimately going. But I wonder if the Venezuelan government does wind up going down the path of that famous island south of Key West will Venezuelanalysis gladly walk down that path with them?

Very depressingly, it sure is starting to look that way.


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