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posted by dru Geography: Latin America Venezuela Topics: media

May 28, 2007


BoingBoing calls the RCTV decision "a political decision through which Chavez seeks to gain total control of the basic freedoms of the country's citizens."

Is that sort of like a military coup that overthrows a democratically elected government?

Update: In an encouraging development, BoingBoing appears to have a lot of sensible, informed readers, and BoingBoing editor Xeni Jardin was honorable enough to give space to what they have to say. Score one for blogs being more open than the corporate press, for now.

This comment seems to sum things up pretty well:

First point : Under what legal process was this TV shut down? Because its license to broadcast expired. It was granted in the 80's for 20 years and was subject to renewal. That TV channel was not shut down, its contract with the Venezuelan government expired. It may seems to be a non-significant point, but it is not. The question is WHY was the license not renewed ?

If I may, I would like to stress that NO license is FOREVER granted. If you does not like any provider, it's your right to change it at your contract expiration. May you be a government and your provider a TV. It's just a contract with a end-of-term.

Second point : WHY was the TV closed/not granted a license renewal ? Because its contract with the Venezuelan government included a couple legal clauses. One of them was that the TV had to respect the Venezuelan law. And among the numerous violations along the last years, this channel have been a key asset in the right-wing opposition to conduct a COUP against the legal, elected, president. And conducting a COUP is not a legal activity for a TV channel. If you didn't yet, you should see "The revolution will not be televised" documentary about this US-backed coup.

I understand that your first reaction was to support the TV and journalists that are to lose their jobs. I agree that any government closing a "free" channel to replace it by a "government" TV should be, at first, suspected of wrongdoing. The fact is, to my understanding, this case deserve deeper investigation to be perfectly covered. And you can't rely on US media to tell this.

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