Friday, December 29, 2006
Well, it was bound to happen. Hugo Chavez gets re-elected by the Venezuelan voters and now he is going nuts using his power.
Now he wants to close down this station, RCTV. He wants to take away its license in March 2007 because they claim that station endorses coup attempts against his government. What a load of nonsense. The worst you can say for RCTV is that they oppose the government. But given Chavez' new heavy-handed interference in the nation's television programs, is it any wonder why they would be opposed to his government?
You know, this is a disgrace. In general I do not believe any government has the right to close down independent television networks. We've seen it happen in Russia when networks like TV6 (TB6) would get booted off the air completely for flimsy reason. NTV (HTB in Russian letters) got totally taken over by the government and its entire staff had to flee the channel to do their newscasts elsewhere. Russian TV has been in a sad state. Now the same sort of nonsense is running rampant in Venezuela.
What Chavez obviously wants to do is wipe out all private TV in Venezuela with this move. RCTV is actually available live on the Internet and I'm watching it right now, and what they are doing is interrupting regular programming to tell the world what is going on. In fact, usually this channel shows telenovelas and American imports. They show lots of cartoons in the afternoons, and right now they are showing stuff aimed at teenagers! It looks practically like an American channel. No doubt that is why Chavez wants it off the air. His idea of a good channel, no doubt, is Cubavision--- and anyone who has ever seen that lousy channel has to agree that the people of Cuba are to be pitied. Their TV is bad, bad, bad.
Soon, Venezuelan TV will be as bad as Cuban TV, if this keeps up from Chavez. This is a clear violation of freedom of speech. I don't care if there was an election and that Chavez won; that doesn't give anyone the right to close down communications and opposition voices. What's going on in Venexuela is a trampling of democratic institutions and it's sad and a disgrace.
By the way, don't worry, this move doesn't affect the Miss Venezuela/Miss Universe Pageant. Those are shown on Venevision, the other station. How long THEY stay in business, too, is anyone's guess now.
Posted by John Cairns at 12:23 PM