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Chavez setting himself up to get invaded

swilly

TRIBE Member
Venezuela Considers Selling Oil in Euros

Friday, May 19, 2006 Print format
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By: Michael Fox - Venezuelanalysis.com


Caracas, Venezuela, May 18, 2006—Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared on Tuesday that Venezuela would consider putting the sale of its oil in Euros. His comments come after Iran had announced that it too is contemplating switching to the European currency.


“That was an interesting proposal made by the president of Iran,” Chavez told Channel 4 News in London. “We are also free to choose between the dollar and the euro. I think that the European Union has made a great contribution with the Euro.”


“In a way, what the President of Iran is saying… is recognizing the power of Europe, that they have succeed in the integration and have a single currency that competes with the dollar, and Venezuela can consider that, too, we are free to do that,” Chavez added.



According to the BBC, Iran announced earlier this month that they supported the creation of an “oil exchange that traded solely in Euros”. Experts have warned that such a conversion to the European currency could trigger central banks to convert their dollar reserves to euros, thus potentially worsening the already declining US currency.


Although the International Herald Tribune reported yesterday that the US dollar has rebounded this week from its recent lows against the Euro, it still stands at about $1.28 per Euro. The value of the Euro has grown substantially against the dollar since the two currencies were equal, just before the beginning of the US invasion of Iraq.


Already last year, Venezuela made a number of financial moves towards the European currency. In October, 2005, the Financial Times reported that Venezuela had “transferred a large portion of its $30.4 billion of foreign reserves out of US Treasuries and into banks and other financial instruments in Europe, seemingly for political reasons.”

Last December, The Central Bank of Venezuela approved the use of Euros in some financial transactions in what it called, an attempt to “promote the diversification of the economic relations and international finance of the nation.”


The conversion to Euros has been a controversial international issue because of the possible effect it could have on the US currency and international markets. In November of 2000, Iraq switched its oil exchange to Euros, even before most Europeans where using the new currency. Many critics of US foreign policy have pointed to this conversion as a possible impetuous for the US invasion of Iraq a few short years later.

Possibly making the connection, President Chavez, at a speech in London on Sunday, declared that the price of oil would soar to over $100 a barrel if the United States were to declare war on Iran. Even before Iran’s recent announcements on possible Euro conversion, the Bush Administration had been exerting increasing pressure on the oil-rich nation over the development of its nuclear program. The Venezuelan government has publicly declared itself in support of Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program and opposed to any military action against the middle-eastern country.
 

Hamza

TRIBE Member
docta seuss said:
Chavez's novelty value wore off long ago.. now he's just your average blowhard, desperate for attention.

No, not really. He doesn't go off about how he will destroy the infadels and so fourth. He offers an alternative to imperialistic discourse, the fact that this gets represented as some kind of novelty as opposed to a legitimate discourse is unfortunate.

Most of his claims and strategies are legitimate alternatives to the hegemonic influences of the US.

He makes sense to me.
 

AshG

Member
i think some of his moves are deliberately inflammatory and in other cases is simply pandering to the electorate, but no worse than other democratic, conservative regimes.

that corruption exists in his government is no more surprising than elsewhere.
for one, i am glad he's around to at least have a vocal presence in bringing about different policies; he's one strong voice against a largely monopolistic political world, and i like him if only for his function as a competitor to other types of government.
 

swilly

TRIBE Member
I for one totally support chavez and dont see the reason that oil should be traded only in dollars. If a country sees that it is to thier advantage or even that they dont feel like trading in dollars why not. It is thier resources and they should be allowed to do whatever they want. The impact on the american economy although bad is not the fault of the venzeulians. If countries depended on the good will of other countries for the value of thier dollar than well.......something..... i am drunk
b ye bye
 
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2canplay

TRIBE Member
AshG said:
i think some of his moves are deliberately inflammatory and in other cases is simply pandering to the electorate, but no worse than other democratic, conservative regimes.

that corruption exists in his government is no more surprising than elsewhere.
for one, i am glad he's around to at least have a vocal presence in bringing about different policies; he's one strong voice against a largely monopolistic political world, and i like him if only for his function as a competitor to other types of government.
Agreed.

He is also important because he can offer opportunities for other Latin American countries to explore new alternatives. I wish him all the best, but I think the U.S. will crush him eventually. They always do. That's why they are imperialists.
 

docta seuss

TRIBE Member
Hamza said:
No, not really. He doesn't go off about how he will destroy the infadels and so fourth. He offers an alternative to imperialistic discourse, the fact that this gets represented as some kind of novelty as opposed to a legitimate discourse is unfortunate.

Most of his claims and strategies are legitimate alternatives to the hegemonic influences of the US.

He makes sense to me.
AshG said:
i think some of his moves are deliberately inflammatory and in other cases is simply pandering to the electorate, but no worse than other democratic, conservative regimes.
i'm not saying that i never agree with the man, but there's no question that he's desperate for attention.

he's a talker, always shouting about what he would do to defend 'the people' in, more often than not, extremely unlikely hypothetical situations.

for example, when the Iran situation started to get all the attention, Chavez just couldn't bare to be pushed from the limelight:
President Hugo Chávez Wednesday warned that if the United States attacks Venezuela to take control of its oil, he would blow up the oil fields, as the Iraqis did in Kuwait.

Chávez claimed that an invasion to Venezuela is being plotted in the US in order to seize its gas and oil riches, which is denied by Washington, reported Reuters.

"If Venezuela is attacked, we will do the same the Iraqis did, since there would be no alternative left, but to blow up our own oil fields, so they do not take our oil… If we are attacked, there would be no oil for nobody," Chávez said.
*edit[love the double-negative]
America invading Venezuela? what?

who knows, maybe i've got him all wrong, but i really doubt it.
 
Last edited:

atbell

TRIBE Member
docta seuss said:
America invading Venezuela? what?

who knows, maybe i've got him all wrong, but i really doubt it.

Chavez has purchased 100,000 ak47's from Russia. That'll help keep the Americans out. He's also looked into getting air and sea tech from Spain but the US blocked him. The US also blocked a sale of Brazilian military equipment to Venezuela.

They might not be ready to invade, but that US admin sure doesn't want Chavez to have to many toys.
 

2canplay

TRIBE Member
LAND GRAB
Farms Are Latest Target
In Venezuelan Upheaval
Co-ops of City Dwellers
On Seized Acreage Are
Mostly a Bust So Far
By JOSÉ DE CÓRDOBA
May 17, 2007; Page A1

SAN FELIPE, Venezuela -- Vicente Lecuna jabs a wall map of his Santa Isabel ranch so angrily that the map crashes to the floor. "I used to produce 10,000 tons of sugar cane a year," says the 67-year-old Venezuelan cattleman. "Now it's zero! Zero!" he shouts.

Two years ago, squatters seized about half of Mr. Lecuna's 3,000-acre ranch, setting up a cooperative named "Re-Founding the Fatherland." Far from being evicted, the squatters got loans and tractors from the government of President Hugo Chávez. They then uprooted the sugar cane and decided to try their hand at growing plantains.

"We are building socialism and fighting capitalism!" says co-op leader Juan Nava, standing amid wooden shacks on what used to be Mr. Lecuna's land. The rancher's efforts to fight the takeover in court have gone nowhere.


Phil Gunson
A cowboy tends bulls on Vicente Lecuna's ranch.
If the rhetoric smacks of the 1960s, it's because Mr. Chávez dreams of transforming Venezuela just as Fidel Castro did Cuba. Mr. Chávez has already sharply cut private companies' role in Venezuela's lucrative oil industry, and uses the state oil company to funnel billions of dollars to his social projects. He has nationalized the leading telephone company and the main electric utility. He speaks of wanting to drive a stake through the heart of capitalism, limiting the role of money and installing a barter system.

Now Mr. Chávez is taking his revolution to the Venezuelan countryside. "We must end latifundios," he said in a televised speech in March, referring to large agrarian estates. "The people order it, and we will do it, whatever the cost." Then he announced the seizure of a land area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

Since coming to power, the Chávez government has handed over 8.8 million acres, an area bigger than Maryland, for use by the poor. While much of this was state-owned land that was either idle or leased to ranchers, some 4.5 million acres were "recovered" from private owners, Mr. Chávez said recently. In some cases, the government compensated them. In most others, like Mr. Lecuna's, it has simply turned a blind eye to land invasions.

The government bills land reform as a way to make Venezuela self-sufficient in food. But so far, the effect has been to undercut production of beef, sugar and other foods, as productive land is handed to city dwellers with no knowledge of farming. Established farmers and ranchers, fearing their land may be seized next, are cutting investment in their operations to a minimum.

The chaos in the countryside has contributed to shortages in basic items like milk and meat, a paradox in a country enjoying an economic boom traceable to high oil prices. Also spurring the shortages are price controls on certain foods that keep them priced below the cost of production. Meanwhile, 19%-plus inflation -- as oil revenue floods the economy -- spurs panic buying: purchasing price-controlled and other goods the shopper might not immediately need for fear of having higher prices in the future or not finding the items at all.

"You get up at dawn to hunt for a breast of chicken all over town. Housewives are in a foul mood," says Lucylde González, a Caracas homemaker, who says she hasn't seen an egg in a week.

After squatters took part of Mr. Lecuna's land, his bank said he could no longer use what remained as collateral for loans, and asked him to put up a Caracas office building he owns instead. Mr. Lecuna says he can't get financing from state banks, because they now won't lend to farmers with more than 100 acres. He has stopped buying fertilizer and machinery. "I'm afraid of investing," he says. In addition, kidnappings of farmers and ranchers for ransom are on the rise, and scandals have plagued the co-op program.


Mr. Chávez blames the shortages on "speculation" by distributors and producers. Agriculture Minister Elias Jaua recently called a news conference to deny there's been any decline in food production during the eight years of Chávez rule. The central bank stopped publishing agricultural statistics in 2005. A private farm association called Fedeagro estimates Venezuela grew 8% less food last year than the year before, citing factors including the price controls, land seizures and the wave of kidnappings of farmers.

Oil-Fueled Experiments

Some Chávez initiatives recall disastrous past experiments with collectivized agriculture, such as in Mao's China and the Cuban revolution, which helped turn one of Latin America's richest lands into one of its poorest. But as the world's fifth biggest oil exporter, Venezuela has an advantage they didn't. Oil revenue gives the fiery nationalist leeway to pursue utopian policies despite the doubts of many mainstream economists that they are sustainable.

Members of new farm co-ops receive training via a program called Misión Vuelvan Caras, ("Mission About-Face"), which Mr. Chávez has just renamed Misión Che Guevara. It pays thousands of slum dwellers monthly stipends to learn a hodgepodge of Marxism, "ancestral" Venezuelan farming methods, and Cuban fertilizer-making techniques. In two years, the program has graduated nearly a million people.

At the Re-Founding the Fatherland co-op, the 96 members have four tractors, including a bright red Veniran made by a Venezuelan-Iranian government joint venture. Co-op members have uprooted about 540 acres of sugar cane planted by the former owner, Mr. Lecuna. The co-op's Mr. Nava, a wiry former construction worker in plastic sandals, says members have planted 60 acres of plantains, a figure he ups later in the interview to 170. Lecuna ranch hands say it's 10 acres at most. Co-op members have also planted small plots of corn, beans and watermelons.

The co-op's production doesn't come close to sustaining its members, and most work in nearby cities and towns. The dozen or so who live in shacks on the land are currently building a concrete trough that they plan to fill with millions of worms. The worms will be fed cow manure to create a fertilizer called humus de lombrices, or worm humus. The technique comes recommended by Cuba. "By next year, we will live from this," says Mr. Nava, as two rail-thin dogs fight nearby and kick up a cloud of dust.

Referring to the rancher whose land was seized, Mr. Nava demands, "Why so much land owned by one man and so many others dying for land? Tell Lecuna we are going to take everything. We are coming his way!"

Until Mr. Chávez became president in 1999, land reform wasn't a big issue in Venezuela. A land-redistribution program in the early 1960s had ended a system of big estates with absentee owners and serf-like laborers, handing hundreds of thousands of acres over for the use of peasants, say Venezuelan agriculture experts.

Early on, Mr. Chávez pushed legislation permitting the government to seize land from large farms, but opposition from farmers, ranchers and the supreme court largely stopped his efforts. He tried again in 2005 and this time faced little resistance. Mr. Chávez by then controlled the courts as well as the Congress, where he had no opponents because opposition parties, thinking legislative elections rigged, had boycotted the polls.

One of the first battlegrounds over land reform was Hato Paraima ranch, on the scorching plains of Cojedes state in central Venezuela. In 2005 the state governor, a Chávez ally, announced he would seize the 120,000-acre ranch outright from its owners, the Branger family. The federal government stepped in and, after months of negotiation, purchased about 80,000 acres. "It was a reasonable negotiation -- within the context that it was a forced negotiation," says Jaime Pérez Branger, president of the family company.

Hato Paraima's land gets virtually no rain about six months of the year. During the other six, it is subject to repeated flooding. So it's acceptable for grazing cattle and growing grass seed, but not much else. Even grazing is difficult because of the acidic soil and extreme rainfall pattern. The Branger family has a seed company that developed hardy grasses adapted to the tough conditions of Venezuela's plains.


The Re-Founding the Fatherland co-op, on land seized two years ago from rancher Vicente Lecuna.
Without any sort of water study, the government distributed 80,000 acres of Hato Paraima to dozens of co-ops and individuals -- who submitted plans for growing everything from sugar cane to vegetables on it, as well as for raising cattle on small plots. The government hoped the results would be a showcase.

But the co-op members have seen their pastures dry up in the searing sun of the dry season. Some gave up. Others, in desperation, have turned to the Branger family for help.

"The people are going crazy for lack of pasture," says Rodolfo Barrios, who manages the family's seed company, called Sembra. He says that co-op members pleaded with him five times this March for hay to feed their cattle, and that he donated about 1,000 bales, plus the use of a bulldozer to make a road to connect distant co-ops to the main road.

Today the co-ops feature a succession of empty shacks and a couple of skinny cows among dust devils and hard, rocky soil, with just a few people around. A planned community center is half-finished, as are some 25 houses that will eventually replace squatters' shacks. Roads and drainage systems promised by the government are, for most part, yet to be built.

Co-op member Arturo Morffe lives in a shack made of tin and sticks, with no water or electricity. The 50-year-old former construction worker is the only member of a 20-person co-op, all city dwellers, who lives full time at the co-op's 750 acres. He says the rest, including his wife and children, are back in the city of Maracay, where they first formed the co-op, and eight have abandoned the co-op effort altogether.

His wife visits occasionally, he says, as he takes a break from clearing brush with a machete. "She says I should quit the struggle." But the lanky Mr. Morffe, who has planted 100 maracuyá fruit plants by his shack, is determined to see the project through. "It's tough, but we have to keep going," he says. Pointing with his machete toward the stony ground, he says, "If the government helps out as it says it will, then in two years we could have 200 to 300 milk cows."

Taking Advantage

For some, the Venezuelan co-op program -- which readily makes loans available to members of a wide variety of co-ops, not just agrarian -- is evidently just a way to make a buck. Some city residents hire watchmen to live a subsistence existence in shacks on their rural homesteads while waiting for government loans. In Guárico state, officials say some local businessmen gave local prostitutes a few hundred dollars for the use of their names to form ghost co-ops and then receive loans of up to $100,000.

The repayment rate on farm co-op loans in Venezuela is less than 1%, says Olivier Delahaye, an expert on agrarian reform in Latin America. The whole Venezuelan co-op program is a "loan factory," Mr. Delahaye says.

José López occupies a tin and wood shack down one dusty road on a co-op. "I'm the watchman here," says the one-eyed Mr. López, sprawled on a hammock surrounded by empty beer bottles. Mr. López says the 40-acre homestead belongs to a person who works for a television cable company in the city of Valencia, three hours away, who drops by once a week to pay his salary.

An official from the government land institute, which certifies that the land's occupiers are making improvements, stops by, making his rounds. The official says the government has granted the homesteader a $40,000 loan to build fences and improve the place, although there is no water nearby.

Many involved in the land-reform effort say it is riddled with corruption, such as in San Carlos, the capital of the state of Cojedes, a sweltering town with a statue of a giant mango marking its entrance. The last three local administrators of the agency that grants squatters "agrarian letters" -- the first step in getting a government loan -- have been fired amid charges of mismanagement and fraud. "The struggle against the oligarchy is paralyzed," says Anibal López, an aging former guerrilla sent from Caracas to run the agency.

Scandals have dogged almost every agency involved with Venezuela's new agricultural development. Fondafa, which is supposed to fund the new co-ops, has the worst reputation. Reinaldo Barrios, a Chávez supporter and municipal official in the town of Zaraza in the main corn-producing region, estimates that $100 million of money intended for farmers was stolen or lost in the last two years.

"Impunity, inefficiency and corruption are destroying the economic and political bases of the country," he charges. Venezuela's Congress is doing an investigation. But some high-ranking Chavistas have labeled Mr. Barrios a "counterrevolutionary," suggesting the inquiry may not go very deep.

Mr. Chávez is undaunted. In late March, he held his weekly televised address from a farm that had just been seized. He asked an aide what kind of land it was. "This is a very flood-prone zone," the aide replied, saying that 80% of the land is at times under water. That didn't stop Mr. Chávez, who promised that in three months the government would have an economic development plan for the land. "The Revolution is here," he said.

Write to José de Córdoba at jose.decordoba@wsj.com
 

atbell

TRIBE Member
^^^

Wow, that's a loaded article.

I would like to re-name it "All you lefty urbanites stay in your cities because you will fail in the countryside."

I liked how it highlights the plight of one "poor" farmer who has his land taken by squatters (admittedly not good). Unfortunately when you read further it goes on to mention that he has to use the building he owns in the city as collateral for another loan because of the loss ... wait, I thought this guy was a struggling man of the earth.

Then it points out that the crop is "stupidly" shifted in a dangerous way. It evokes fear of supply/demand problems seen in China and Cuba to emphasize how horribly wrong this land change scheme is (not to mention dropping Mao in there to make sure people know it's bad). But the article betrays it's self as it keeps writing about how the land will no longer be used for sugar, an export product, but will be used for food products.

What gets me is that producing sustenance food, like plantains or wheat, for the local population is not profitable, yet producing sugar, a luxury food, for export is profitable.

Farm subsidies what?


Any idea where this article was published?
 
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Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
well, if the land reforms aren't enough to mess up food production then the price caps will.

i know we all hate the U.S. here, and i also know that any attack on Chavez is a direct attack on anything to do with socialism, but this guy has caudillo written all over him and i really don't see how his reforms are going to help Venezuelans.
 

2canplay

TRIBE Member
Bass-Invader said:
well, if the land reforms aren't enough to mess up food production then the price caps will.

i know we all hate the U.S. here, and i also know that any attack on Chavez is a direct attack on anything to do with socialism, but this guy has caudillo written all over him and i really don't see how his reforms are going to help Venezuelans.
Yeah, he may have gone off the rails a bit. What he's trying to do can be done, but it takes a bit of time. I'm not too concerned with the wealthy farmer, but the big issue is that these people need to learn how to farm.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
thats fair. And Venezuela was in deperate need of some reform before him, and not everything he has done is bad, but he has gone way beyond that and turned the whole country into a power plant for his own megalomaniacal tendencies.
 
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2canplay

TRIBE Member
Well, I don't know about that...he's a personality, no doubt. Is a he megolomaniac? I don't think so. He's a leader, yes - is he obsessed with power in the same way Hitler was? No. That being said, he wants to excersize his constitutional right to carry out his mandate. For hundreds of years, South American countries have been HIGHLY susceptible to foreign influences and domestic subversive forces...he's got a healthy appreciation for this history and as such he is very wary of his domestic "oponents."

I agree, however, that economically, this stuff is not going to end nicely. When he first came to power, he stressed that he would push for more social development, in the framework of a modern-market-oriented economy...or at least an economy that had "the market" as a proven and valuable component. Vladimir Putin was pushing the same message and has stayed the course for the most part and the economy is doing well and foreign investors are lining up to throw money at them. Chavez is chasing capital away and last I checked, they need a lot of capital...so I am not sure they will be able to make it, if they follow the same course.

The bottom line is, they need capital and capital needs investment - he should do like Putin does and drive the best bargain he can, but use other people's capital.
 

atbell

TRIBE Member
I don't think they do need capital. Oil provides a large amount of revenue and is likely to continue doing so for many years (from the heart, I say 14 years 3 months and 8 days).

In addressing the redistribution of crops, I just read an article in Foreign Affairs about very similar concerns. It's to much of a diversion to post here though.

As for Chavez as a "threat" "leader" "visionary" "hero", I think he's at the water shed right now. He's got control, he's got power, and support. I don't blame him for coming across as a bit of a wing nut, I think he has a valid case for being stressed and scared. After all he's set himself up as one of very few counter balances to the most powerful nation in human history, a nation that also has what could be considered a violent and bi-polar foreign policy. What will distinguish Chavez will be if he puts down some meaningful long lasting infrastructure that his country will be able to use after he departs (either by choice or by age).
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
He just shut down the largest (and only national) opposition television channel in the country. Now he is going after the smaller ones.

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=9afed4e1-b750-4f12-8325-bdd7629b6f4f

Chavez moves against second opposition TV channel

Brian Ellsworth
Reuters

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hours after President Hugo Chavez shut down Venezuela's main opposition broadcaster, his government demanded an investigation of news network Globovision today for allegedly inciting an assassination attempt on the leftist leader.

Mr. Chavez took Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV, off the air at midnight yesterday and replaced it with a state-run channel to promote his socialist programs. The move sparked international condemnation and accusations from the opposition that he was undermining democracy in the OPEC nation.

Protests over the closure of RCTV, Venezuela's oldest private channel, simmered in several Venezuelan cities today. In some locations, the police used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Seizing on the momentum of RCTV's closure, Communications Minister Willian Lara presented a case to the state prosector's office saying experts hired by the ministry had found that opposition broadcaster Globovision was inciting assassination attempts on Mr. Chavez.

As evidence, he cited Globovision showing footage of an assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in 1981 accompanied by the song "This Does Not Stop Here," sung by Ruben Blades, now Panama's minister of tourism.

"The conclusion of the specialists ... is that (in this segment) they are inciting the assassination of the president of Venezuela," Mr. Lara told reporters at the prosecutor's office.

Globovision was not immediately available to respond to the government's charge, but one of its reporters at the prosecutor's office said the footage was taken out of context.

The journalist said Globovision had been showing archive footage from RCTV accompanied by songs with a farewell theme the week before RCTV's closure.

At a Caracas news conference, Benoit Hervieu, Americas director at Reporters Without Borders, said: "Yesterday we saw the takeover of the principal media critical of President Chavez. ... Besides Globovision, what television media is left that can criticize the government of Mister Chavez?"

Mr. Chavez's reforms, since he assumed the presidency in 1999, have given him greater control over the country's judiciary, the military and the oil sector.

Critics had said an independent media was the only safeguard against Mr. Chavez forging a Cuban-style regime. The closure of RCTV leaves Globovision as the main media voice opposed to Mr. Chavez, but it does not broadcast nationwide.

Venezuela's opposition media has been widely accused of violating basic journalistic standards. Mr. Chavez accuses both Globovision and RCTV of backing a bungled 2002 coup against him.

RCTV ran movies and cartoons when protests by Mr. Chavez supporters turned the tide in Mr. Chavez's favor during the 2002 coup. It also joined a grueling two-month strike that year by showing only anti-Chavez propaganda and marches for weeks.


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Copyright © 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.
 

wayne kenoff

TRIBE Member
Bass-Invader said:
He just shut down the largest (and only national) opposition television channel in the country. Now he is going after the smaller ones.

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=9afed4e1-b750-4f12-8325-bdd7629b6f4f

Chavez moves against second opposition TV channel

Brian Ellsworth
Reuters

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hours after President Hugo Chavez shut down Venezuela's main opposition broadcaster, his government demanded an investigation of news network Globovision today for allegedly inciting an assassination attempt on the leftist leader.

Mr. Chavez took Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV, off the air at midnight yesterday and replaced it with a state-run channel to promote his socialist programs. The move sparked international condemnation and accusations from the opposition that he was undermining democracy in the OPEC nation.

Protests over the closure of RCTV, Venezuela's oldest private channel, simmered in several Venezuelan cities today. In some locations, the police used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Seizing on the momentum of RCTV's closure, Communications Minister Willian Lara presented a case to the state prosector's office saying experts hired by the ministry had found that opposition broadcaster Globovision was inciting assassination attempts on Mr. Chavez.

As evidence, he cited Globovision showing footage of an assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in 1981 accompanied by the song "This Does Not Stop Here," sung by Ruben Blades, now Panama's minister of tourism.

"The conclusion of the specialists ... is that (in this segment) they are inciting the assassination of the president of Venezuela," Mr. Lara told reporters at the prosecutor's office.

Globovision was not immediately available to respond to the government's charge, but one of its reporters at the prosecutor's office said the footage was taken out of context.

The journalist said Globovision had been showing archive footage from RCTV accompanied by songs with a farewell theme the week before RCTV's closure.

At a Caracas news conference, Benoit Hervieu, Americas director at Reporters Without Borders, said: "Yesterday we saw the takeover of the principal media critical of President Chavez. ... Besides Globovision, what television media is left that can criticize the government of Mister Chavez?"

Mr. Chavez's reforms, since he assumed the presidency in 1999, have given him greater control over the country's judiciary, the military and the oil sector.

Critics had said an independent media was the only safeguard against Mr. Chavez forging a Cuban-style regime. The closure of RCTV leaves Globovision as the main media voice opposed to Mr. Chavez, but it does not broadcast nationwide.

Venezuela's opposition media has been widely accused of violating basic journalistic standards. Mr. Chavez accuses both Globovision and RCTV of backing a bungled 2002 coup against him.

RCTV ran movies and cartoons when protests by Mr. Chavez supporters turned the tide in Mr. Chavez's favor during the 2002 coup. It also joined a grueling two-month strike that year by showing only anti-Chavez propaganda and marches for weeks.


Close

Copyright © 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.
for a little background on the complicity of venzuelas TV broadcasters during the 2002 coup attempt on chavez, be sure to check out the irish documentary The Revolution Will Not be Televised
 
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SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
wayne kenoff said:
for a little background on the complicity of venzuelas TV broadcasters during the 2002 coup attempt on chavez, be sure to check out the irish documentary The Revolution Will Not be Televised
absolutely - 'tis a great film
 
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