Friday, May 25, 2007

Venezuela's RCTV has Long Record of Law-breaking

A lot of organizations and politicians have criticized Venezuela for refusing to renew the broadcasting license of Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV.

In a press release today, the Washington-based Venezuela Information Office says the history of RCTV should be considered by Venezuela's critics:

RCTV's history of noncompliance with federal broadcasting guidelines that predate the Chavez administration. Since 1976, RCTV has been fined or temporarily closed six times, including for airing pornographic scenes, cigarette advertisements, sensationalist programming, and tendentious news coverage. Additionally, in 2002 RCTV aired programming calling on the public to take to the streets and overthrow the democratically elected president, a feat that would surely be punished by jail time and charges of treason if tried in the U.S. Yet, the station has been allowed to continue broadcasting to this day.

Venezuela's National Telecommunications Commission, which operates exactly like the US FCC, ruled that RCTV's long history of unlawful acts warranted the decision to refuse to renew the license. Venezuela's Supreme Court upheld the decision.

Olivia Goumbri, Executive Director of the Venezuela Information Office, stated that,

In the U.S. the FCC has shut down TV stations for far less. In this case though, the expiration of RCTV’s contract is an opportunity for the government to reconsider its 20 year old license, and whether or not a station which has violated broadcasting regulations and the law to such an extreme extent should have its license renewed.

RCTV will be able continue to transmit via cable and satellite. And despite the claims of those who hate the Venezuelan government, the vast majority of Venezuela's media remain in private hands, most of which oppose the policies of the government.

In a hypothetical comparison: imagine how the conservatives would howl if the New York Times called for the violent overthrow of the Bush regime and applauded his kidnapping and possible execution.

In a realistic comparison: Do you remember when right-wing pundits and politicians accused the New York Times of treason for doing little more than publishing stories with classified information purposely leaked to the press? What happens to people convicted of treason?

The point is that RCTV's record as a scofflaw and as an inciter of violence is clear. Let's not let political biases cover for phony claims of the abuse of a free press.

--Joel Wendland


Julia_1984 said...

Its amazing how people can be this ignorant and support dictatorships by believing like sheeps their stances.
It is sad indeed...

Joel said...

You are so right. Some people will support Bush without even thinking about it.

Julia_1984 said...

Have you ever thought that maybe both Chavez and Bush are dictators and the logic "the enemy of my enemy its my friend" doesn't works in this case? Stop supporting one evil, only because he says what you want to hear about Bush (I dont like Bush either, just in case I wasn't clear enough)

Joel said...

I would say no, I have never considered Chavez to be a dictator. He has been elected three times by large majorities in internationally observed elections judged to be fair and free. Since 2000, we haven't been able to make the same claim.

And for anyone who isn't clear about what Bush thinks his role as "decider" and "commander guy" is, check this out:

John m. said...

I feel that Joel's logic is reductive, especially the implication that if you oppose Chavez, you must be a Bush supporter.

Chavez's tendencies make me very uncomfortable, especially with the media. The example I have in mind is how he has dictated that half of all music played on Venezuelan radio has to be "folkloric." That sounds like a nice idea, but is that what the Venezuelan people actually want? If they themselves demanded it of their media outlets that would be one thing (though I can't imagine that the majority would want to limit access to different genres,) but to have it imposed top-down style is not revolutionary.

While I believe that he taps into the true anger of the poor and indigenous people of Venezuela, I question whether he is using that to maintain and increase power. Eliminating any effective checks and balances on his authority through manipulation of the courts and the legislature reminds me of someone much closer to home.

All that aside, he has won three legit elections and I am adamant that whatever Chavez's dictatorial tendencies, these are issues for Venezuelans to address, not the US government.

Joel said...

I don't think I implied that if you oppose Chavez you are a Bush supporter. I think that is a misreading. I think my point is very clear: people, often from the US, level accusations at Chavez for things they don't have a lot of information about (the point of the post we're commenting on) or ignore glaring cultural differences to make, while refusing to address the fact that the very same charges can be leveled legitimately at the administration that currently runs our country.

john m. said...

Point well taken, but some of can, in fact, multi-task.

Anonymous said...

Lies, lies and more lies. Did you know that the Venezuela government on Friday confiscated RCTV's infrastructure? All part of the plan.

What you are publishing is part of a world-class propaganda machine. Venezuelan governments spends over $1 million per month in the U.S. on propaganda through Embassy and VIO.

In total, Venezuela spends approximately $60 million/year in the U.S. to sway opinion and buy favors (cheap oil, VIO, book tours, movies, lawyers, lobbyists, grass roots, organizations, sponsorships, donations, etc. etc.). Venezuela spends more than any other country government in these type of activities.

Check out:


Anonymous said...

Joel, Carter and Gaviria (OAS) certified in Aug 2004 the largest electoral fraud in Latam history. FYI.

December election also cooked. Chavez campaign budget: about USD $ 9 billion. Yes NINE BILLION.

Contender: about $20 million.

Add to that 6,000 unaudited Smartmatic electronic voting (bingo) machines, 15,000 voting centers (half) without witnesses, and a cooked voter registry roll containing 2 million questionable names.

OAS, EU and CC had what, several hundred folks at the most observing last election? You don't have clue!

So you like Chavez because he hates Bush and is charismatic and is taking care of the poor? Sucker... Chavez is playing you too.

Joel said...

Wow anonymous! That's some claim. $9 billion, huh?

Despite your inventions, international observers have consistently said that Venezuelan elections are fair and free.

The US can't claim that.

Anonymous said...

$9 billion was Chavez's social spending for 2006. The only year he gave to the poor because he was up for election. Chavez has 40% support and cooks the rest. That is all he needs. He's at peak power.

Joel, don't outsmart yourself or make an ass of yourself assuming. Gaviria was compromised with sex videos and Carter had his own fucking agenda complicated but Bush doctrine was a factor. Grow a brain and open your eyes. Challenge your mind if you are up for the challenge. Checkout Devil's Exrement and Daniel's blog if you are interested otherwise shut the fuck up.

Joel said...

Dear anonymous: Your flowery use of English doesn't make you right. I recommend you read the post carefully and take your own advice.

All the best,