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Friday, June 15, 2007

Fair as long as it's not against me

Yesterday I was reading a "Chavista" blog and in there Okrim, the author, has a post about a hacked blog from a fellow Chavista blogger (Lubrio) which got erased by however hacked it.

http://okrimopina.blogspot.com/2007/06/respalden-sus-blogs-respaldemos-los-de.html (Link in Spanish)

He condemned the action calling it an intolerable upsetting to the point of almost making him curse. He also said: "La acción de atacar la página donde un individuo se expresa de manera libre es un atentado contra toda la comunidad bloguera: sea un blog revolucionario o no..." which can be translate as: The action of attacking the page where an individual expresses himself freely is an attack against all the blogging community. He then continues: "no defenderé NUNCA sea el atacante o el atacado de la ideología que sea. Si yo tuviera acceso y la posibilidad de eliminar blogs cuyas posiciones no comparto, como los de, por ejemplo, Kareta o Luis, jamás se me pasaría por la mente llevar a cabo ese acto tan mezquino, cobarde y despreciable, que deja bien en claro la catadura moral de quien lo perpetró..." which can be translated to: "I will NEVER defend such action whatever the ideology of the attacked or attacker may be. If I had access to eliminate blogs with positions that I don't share, like for example Kareta's or Luis', it will never cross my mind the moral "catadura" of who did this (referring to the person that erased Lubrio's blog).

I must say the Okrim is right. I too will not applaud such an action since I am a believer of freedom of speech and expression.

But, the point that I want to make is that Okrim condemns this action but on the other hand he's completley fine with the one taken against RCTV. I pointed this out as a comment in his blog to which he replied that he knew that someone would make such point and he proceeded to explain me the difference that would explain why RCTV's shutting down is ok and Lubrio's blog is not. His reasons were simple:

  1. The radio electric space is limited, the blogging one is not.
  2. RCTV's work was not erased as in Lubrio's case.
  3. The State didn't took over RCTV's broadcasting equipment while a hacker took over Lubrio's blog.
  4. Chavez closed RCTV abiding by the law while this hacker sort of broke it by forging Lubrio's identity.
These three points are completley valid, but they fail in several ways. For example, we can agree the the radio electric space is limited while the Internet space is not. So, how many TV stations does the Opposition has now? Globovision? which is a station that's not visible throughout the whole country? What about Chavez? Well, he has VTV, Telesur, Vive and now TVES which occupies the space that belonged to RCTV. shouldn't this limited space be distributed somewhat equally amongst the venezuelan audience?

As for the second point, is true that RCTV's work was not deleted and since Lubrio didn't have a backup, his work got lost. This is completely true but it is still doesn't make one right and the other one wrong.

The third point bother me a little since the government ordered the seizure of RCTV's broadcasting equipment, which I'm not sure if was followed through, but the order was there.

And last but not least, Chavez abiding by the law. It is true that the State has the right to revoke or not renew a broadcasting license, there is no discussion there. What we need to discuss is the government reasons to do such thing. Their main one is that RCTV participated on a coup, to which it was never tried and actually proven that it did, and the other one is that it was a terrorist, fascist tv station because government adepts felt like it.

What Okrim failed to realized is that even when they are conceptual differences, we are looking at the same crime. Chavez closed down, law abiding, a TV station that had a different message than what he wanted to convey. He closed down a TV station which he called terrorist, fascist and what not because he felt that if their message wasn't in line with his, they shouldn't be allowed to broadcast. On the other hand, Lubrio was the victim of the same crime. He too was silenced by someone that felt that his message shouldn't be heard (read in this case).

We are free and as free people we have the right to disagree and to have different opinions. "chavistas" should take a closer look at their slogan: Patria Socialismo o Muerte. Venceremos, translation: Country, Socialism or Death. We will win. In this slogan there is no space for a different opinion. Either you are a socialist or you'll die fighting us. This slogan leaves no room for discussion which explains exactly why it's perfectly fine to close a non socialist TV station while it's a completely treacherous thing to shut down a socialist blog.

You are free to think what you want, as long as your thoughts are in line with Chavez's. Not too much freedom there, right?