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Friday, June 15, 2007

Venezuela Analysis has some proof now?

I don't think so, or they failed to show it.

The Link: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=2070

The source article was also featured on: http://redpepper.blogs.com/venezuela/2007/06/chavez_and_rctv.html & the actual source: http://www.medialens.org/alerts/index.php

The article dwells on the same issue: Is it ok for Chavez t to close down a TV statin that is not in line with his socialist message?

I am not going to comment on all of it since I've already done enough postings on the matter. But I will comment about a couple of paragraphs that just jumped out of the page.

"Likewise, it is a simple fact, not a claim, that RCTV was deeply complicit in the 2002 military coup - and the views of the West's Venezuelan bete noire should be placed front and centre only if we are content for media demonisation to undermine this truth." I guess they have proof or maybe they recorded the trial..oh wait, there was never a trial to prove RCTV's involvement. So how come it is a simple fact and not a claim? I have yet to understand.

"In a rare example of media honesty, the Los Angeles Times reported last month that RCTV had initially been focused on providing entertainment: "But after Chavez was elected president in 1998, RCTV shifted to another endeavour: ousting a democratically elected leader from office." (Bart Jones, 'Hugo Chavez versus RCTV - Venezuela's oldest private TV network played a major role in a failed 2002 coup,' Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2007." Oh....oh...they are using Bart as their source and calling him honest. Bart, the man that wrote a book about Chavez and it's completley biased towards him, did an honest reporting, sure.

The best part of the paragraph, and maybe the whole article is the: "In a rare example of media honesty.." Media Honesty? By Bart Jones? Someone who is clearly biased for Chavez? Who is Media Lens or Red Pepper or whoever to say this is fair reporting and the other is not. People please, if you really want to defend Chavez on the grounds that RCTV allegedly participated on the coup, you still have to show proof of this participation since the Venezuelan Government, Chavez etc never showed this proof and never sent RCTV or it's owners to a trial.

Is it really "honest, fair reporting" to print things like: "On the same day, RCTV allowed leading coup plotter Carlos Ortega..." coup plotter??? I mean you can call him coup plotter if you want but you should at least be "FAIR" & "HONEST" and explain to people that he was also the head of the CTV (Confederacion de Trabajadores de Venezuela) or the main Venezuelan Workers Union or Association which basically represented all workers in Venezuela. Also, RCTV "allowed (Carlos Ortega)  to call for demonstrators to march on the presidential palace." RCTV allowed him to call for demonstrators making them part of the coup? Weren't they reporting the events and transmitting an interview of one of the main persons in the events that were happening in Venezuela? Didn't Carlos Ortega have the right to call for demonstrators? I believed we had the right to protests but I guess I'm wrong.

Of course the article cites Izarra, who at the time was news director for RCTV and after condemning RCTV he was last seen as Information Minister (I need to find the correct word seriously) and head of Telesur, a sure sign of honest and fair reporting. 

You know, I need to finish the articles before I start writing. I was wrong when I said before that the best part of the article was the rare example of Media honesty. I mean, it was really good but not as good as: "In fact it turned out that the US had conspired with the coup plotters to overthrow the government. Likewise, Chavez supporters had been +defending+ themselves against sniper attack. The Venezuelan media had misrepresented film footage to present the required version of events." I really wish I could sit down with this people so they can show me all this coup plotting proof they have. Although since I'm being paid by the CIA to write imperialist ideas it might not be of their interest. Anyways the US alleged particpiation is not as good as "Chavez supporters defending themselves against snipers." WTF? Do I really need to remind this people that almost all the people that dies were protesting against Chavez? And that of all the ones that were shot & killed by snipers, all of them were protesting against Chavez? Are they really saying that the Puente Llaguno images (I believe this is the " misinterpreted film footage" they claim) were distorted since the Chavistas were shooting at the snipers? I'm sorry but I thought snipers where up on buildings and this people looked as if they were looking down. And well there is also the problem with the shadow and the film was cropped, etc.

I'm just going to leave this post here as it is clear that Pro Chavez news, blogs, etc will always use the exact same argument: RCTV participated on a coup so they got shut down. And they will always fail to fill in the blanks: When where they found guilty of this participation? I might have missed it... I don't know, after all I am just a paid CIA employee hooked up to an imperialist, idea feeding machine.

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?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

$250,000 of it's own money?

As it turns out, Chavez is asking his followers to give up luxury. Actually, he is demanding them to do so since he only wants true socialist by his side. I think I'm going to sit down and wait to see Jorge Rodriguez giving up his Audi and Iris Valera her Mercedes SUV just to name a few (they might have changed cars by now but you get the point). Yes, Chavez meant things that are extra, like an extra refrigerator or an extra truck or things that are just laying around and well, this government officials need to get to their jobs. But shouldn't a true socialist relay on public transportation? or maybe have a car but not such a luxury car? We would have to set the limit of luxury in order to really judge them but I just wanted to point that out.

Now the real issue here is Chavez announcement of his willing to donate $250,000 of his own money. Yes, unless the press is quoting him wrong, he did say of his own money.

Before I go any further here are some articles, in English, with the story:

Let's do some math now. I'm going to assume that the "SOCIALIST" Venezuelan president makes the same amount of money as the "CAPITALIST" US president. The amount is: $400,000 a year that, using the black market exchange rate which Chavez recently used for himself, (http://buscador.eluniversal.com/2007/06/12/eco_art_chavez-calcula--con_316727.shtml
turns out to be roughly: 1,600,000,000 Bs. Actually lets calculate it at the official rate too, which would be about half or: 860,000,000 Bs. that Chavez, if making the same as the US president, would make on a year of work. Now, we can assume that Chavez salary is not even close to the Capitalist, Imperialist, Devlisih US president, so, since I can find anywhere how much the US president should make, let's assume he makes just a quarter of it which is $100,000 or 400,000,000 Bs. at the parallel or black market rate and 215,000,000 Bs. at the official rate. Well, that figure is still to big for me, so I am going to say that Chavez actually makes just 1/8 of what the Us president makes a year which would be roughly $50,000 (a little bit over the median of what the average american family makes a year. Census link for 2002-2003). So $50,000 at the parallel market rate: 200,000,000 Bs or 107,500,000 at the official rate.

All right we have some simple math speculating what Chavez, as Venezuelan president, make a year. We are going to use the last amount of 107,500,000 Bs or a litlle less than 9,000,000 Bs per month, which would be around 12 times more than the minimum wage in Venezuela (calculating the minimum wage at 700,000 Bs per month, is actually a little less). I think is also fair to say that Chavez didn't have to much on his bank account before being president since he was just a poor para-trooper from Barinas (a state in Venezuela where Chavez is from) but I am going to set his bank account at 20,000,000 Bs which at 1998 was a decent amount for a saving account, around $28,000 calculating at a 700 Bs per US$ rate. (I'm not sure the rate is correct but since I'm assuming moth of the math we will use it).

Moving on, making $50,000 a year, for 8 years + $28,000, without spending a single dime on anything (why should he, venezuelans pay for his clothes, trips, food etc with their oil money and taxes) Chavez would have, today the amount of $428,000 which would be enough for him to donate $250,000 of his own money. He would actually be donating more than half of his money if this numbers are correct.

So, the question now is: Exactly how much money does Chavez makes a year and how much money does he has sitting in his Bank Account? I mean how much money would you need to have in order to donate $250,000 of your own money to your cause? Maybe you would donate half, or even all of it if you truly believed on it. But if Chavez had done so, wouldn't he say it out loud to prove his commitment and his socialist nature? But how does donation work for a true socialist? Is he givinng 10% of his money? is he giving more? is he giving less? Who knows, but we do know is that he has enough to give at least $250,000 of his "own" money. It would be nice if public servants finances were made public like the imperialists of the US which at least show us their Tax returns which clearly show how much they earned during the year.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Are they blind?

I am having a real hard time understanding how the main Chavista defense for the RCTV case is the fact that there was no legal proceeding and that Chavez waited for the end of the license to not renew it as an act of Totalitarian Dictatorship. Really, if you don't see how this was a totalitarian decision, let me try to illustrate you.

First I'm going to quote, what globovision quoted of what, Ecuador's President, and Chavez's firend Rafael Correa, said this sunday about the RCTV case:

"Les digo muy claro, si después de probar que un canal apoyó un golpe de Estado y que estuvo al lado de los golpistas, como lo hizo RCTV, yo cancelo ese canal", declaró Correa el diario Hoy.

Señaló que "eso no hizo Chávez, él esperó para no renovar la frecuencia".

Translation: I say it very clear, if after PROVING that a TV station supported a coup and that it was sided with its participants, like RCTV did (although this was never proved since there was no trial), I will cancel that TV station. Chavez didn't do that, he waited so he could not renew the license."

Is anybody seeing the irony here? Correa basically admits that Chavez had a complete disregard for the laws and basically skipped the due process to see if RCTV had a real involvement in the coup. Since he's such a nice guy, he waited till their license expired so he could make the decision (he, himself, and only he) to not renew it.

Can this be a more clear example about how the law is carried out on Venezuela? How can people defending Chavez admit to this and not have a problem with it? I guess they don't believe in democracy, or better yet, they believe in it when it doesn't apply to them like Chavez does. It is important to remember that Chavez created his own constitution on 1999. Who knows, maybe he failed to tell us that he was exempt from following it.