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Just to make sure that the folks here who think Hugo Chavez is just looking out for the little guy, and he's a democrat at heart -- know the truth about him.

More than a dozen of 34 radio stations ordered shut by the Venezuelan government went off the air on Saturday, part of President Hugo Chavez's drive to extend his socialist revolution to the media.

The association of radio broadcasters said 13 stations had stopped transmitting, following an announcement Friday night by government broadcasting watchdog Conatel that 34 radio outlets would be closed because they failed to comply with regulations.

Critics said the crackdown infringed on freedom of speech and that owners were not given the right to a proper defense.

"They're closing the space for dissidents in Venezuela," William Echeverria, head of the National Council of Journalists, told RCTV, a private cable TV station, which did not have its broadcasting license renewed in 2007.

Chavez defended the closures, calling them part of the government's effort to democratize the airwaves.

(Continued after the jump)

"We haven't closed any radio stations, we've applied the law," Chavez said on state television. "We've recovered a bunch of stations that were outside the law, that now belong to the people and not the bourgeoisie."

Chavez supporters say they are waging a "media war" against private news companies and have denounced in recent days what they say is a renewed offensive by privately owned domestic and international media to discredit Venezuela.

I'm sure those media outlets are attacking the Chavez Government. Of course, what Chavez is doing is admiting that he's shutting down dissenters of his regime. Viva Hugo!

It brings me no joy to post this. But I got into some knock down drag out fights with other Kossacks here back when there were a lot of diaries about the Honduran coup.

I said, repeatedly, that Zeleya was an open admirer and emulator of Hugo Chavez, and that Chavez was a thug. That didn't justify the coup, but it did not justify the crazy martyrdom that Zeleya was given by many here. Nor their strange support for Chavez, who threatened war against Honduras for ousting his compatriot.

The irony, of course, is that many of the posters here supporting Zeleya used the Coup Gvt's shutting down or intimidation of pro-Zeleya media outlets as evidence that the Coup plotters were anti-democratic. Well...yes they were!

And so is Hugo Chavez.

ADDENDUM:

I note that many of Chavez' defenders in the comments are using what I call the Sgt. Crowley defense for his actions. Chavez' critics are saying nasty and mean things about Chavez, maybe even untrue things! So, that justifies using Gvt. power to shut them up.

No...it doesn't. It was wrong when the Honduran coup plotters did it. Its wrong when Hugo Chavez does it. And, yes, that -- among other things -- does justify calling Chavez a thug.

Either you believe in freedom of speech or you don't. If you do, that means you believe in the right of people to say things you think are abhorrent or wrong.

Originally posted to Hesiod on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:26 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  British Nazis (10+ / 0-)

    approve.

    Credit where credit is due, Chavez is bang on target here.

    The power of the modern mass media to manipulate democracy and democratic elections is the ultimate 'soft tyranny'.

    From the BBC, Fox News, The Guardian, The Telegraph etc etc - each of them are as bent as a nine bob note. They pump out propaganda for the interests of their masters, not for the benefit of the people and especially not the truth.

    They can control a society without the people of that society even being aware they are enslaved.

    Therefore the media must be forced to no longer interfere, manipulate or control the political process by using their propaganda to influence any society into voting for whom the media want elected.

    The present system where the media propagandise the political parties that their corporate owners support is the antithesis of democracy - the power to manipulate individual minds and create false perceptions of a 'social consesus' as regards politics by the media must be dealt with, and Chavez's example is a good model to follow.

    Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

    by bugscuffle on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:32:09 AM PDT

    •  i can't disagree with that assessment (4+ / 0-)

      it is what is happening now in the US with our health care debate.

      "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

      by rickrocket on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:42:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Alrighty. (4+ / 0-)

        You think the President should shut down the media because the health care debate isn't going as well as he would like?

        Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

        by bugscuffle on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:45:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, really (4+ / 0-)

          I can't believe people are plausably floating the argument that a government should be able to shut down dissenting media.

          What Chavez did is disgraceful, people.  Don't compare it to Fox News.  Lets be smarter than the reflexive herd-like sheeple at Red State who defend everything "their side" does (although I would argue with the premise that Chavez has anything to do with our side).

        •  no (3+ / 0-)

          but I do believe we should limit how much media one group should own.  Unchecked influence is not a good recipe for democracy.  What I mean about the health care debate is that there is a ton of misinformation and propaganda being spread for the benefit of corporations (insurance companies).  This information is being spread by corporate media (who controls all of the media outlets, including radio and TV), who is being paid handsomely for its dissemination.  If these corporate entities did not own all the information sources, the actual truth would have more of a chance of getting out.

          Chavez is for Chavez always.  What he is doing is what we wish we could do.  Break up the propaganda machine that our media has become.  The fact that he is doing it to benefit his own government and not actually for democracy makes it undefendable.

          "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

          by rickrocket on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:05:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I absolutely, under no circumstances will pick (6+ / 0-)

    sides in a south of the border internal dispute. I still remember the Contras and the Sandinistas - groups only a mother could love - and there were no other choices to support.

    Of course, I feel the same way having retired to SE Asia - the latest junta is just as bad as the last one and probably no better than the next one.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:32:47 AM PDT

    •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeff in nyc, Blue Wind, Mia Dolan

      You didn't really care about Pinochet and Allende?

      Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

      by bugscuffle on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:34:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am against the USA encouraging/enabling (12+ / 0-)

        a coup d'état anywhere in the world. There should have been no USA involvement in Chile politics (my not taking sides stance) and then there would have been no Pinochet presidency. Kissinger & Nixon picked Pinochet and I expect a whole lot more respect for foreign soverignity out of the current administration.

        I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

        by shann on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:01:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kinda hard to throw stones (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, bobdevo, Eiron, laurenc, Johnny Q

        From the glass house known as the USA,don't you think.

        We have a current occupant of the Whitehouse whose  Justice Dept is making argumemts much more detrimental to Human rights than shutting down radio stations.  

        http://dumpjoe.com/

        by ctkeith on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:09:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Totally bogus state secrets claims . . . (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RonV, Sandino, Johnny Q, Situational Lefty

          preventive detention schemes . . . all because of our irrational fear of the world.

          If we closed the fucking 737 military bases around the world, maybe people would hate us less.

          "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

          by bobdevo on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:05:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Care is one thing, interfere is another (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eiron, Eikyu Saha

        The US has a long and bloody history of choosing sides in foreign politics that usually comes back to bite us on the ass after we've armed one side or another with rocket launchers and trained them in guerilla tactics.

        Just because one side is obviously run by a murderous asshole doesn't mean the people opposing them won't turn out to be equally thuggish as soon as they're in power.

        We really need to quit supplying military aid to anyone (unless directly required to do so by treaty ties or Un sactioned responses), and stick to diplomacy and economic and humanitarian aid.

        Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:39:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's not an "internal" battle. How can (10+ / 0-)

      anyone be that naive? Man, what do you smoke?

      The Nicaraguan Contra Terrorists were funded by the United States, the "greatest purveyor of violence in the world" (ML King), overseen by the US congress and President Ronald Reagan, one of the most violent men of the 20th century.

      The troops who overthrew a democratically elected government in Honduras was trained by the United States.

      I chose to side with the people of these countries, who fought against US backed terror.

      If we leave it up to our elected officials, nothing will ever get done - Kos

      by Tom J on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:37:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Like catnip to the leftists: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mia Dolan, The Navigator, erush1345

    "socialist revolution" and "belong to the people and not the bourgeoisie."

    suckers!

    "He's like any other president -- he's a politician and he's got to do what politicians do." Rev. Jeremiah Wright

    by PhillyGal on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:36:05 AM PDT

  •  Compatriot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cadejo4

    means person of the same nationality.

    You may wish to correct the diary.

    Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

    by litho on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:37:15 AM PDT

  •  You missed the part ... (28+ / 1-)

    ... where the stations were shut down because they hadn't renewed or had transferred broadcast licenses illegally.  If the FCC orders an unlicensed station to stop broadcasting - and it has - would you also decry that as "censorship?"

  •  What should the response be (20+ / 0-)

    from this community?   What is the point of this diary?  Is there a specific action you are calling for?  or just trying to shape opinion?

    Does the Dem-Progressive movement have a pro-oligarchy wing?  Who knew?

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:49:22 AM PDT

  •  Don't know about this tip (17+ / 0-)

    but I'm certain, regardless, that we aren't getting the full story on Venezuela in the American media. I'm biased to believe your ill-sourced tidbit is yet another example of fear-mongering and distortion.

    Full disclosure: I have never been to Venezuela, or studied it, particularly. But an acquaintance of mine, whose political views I learn a great deal from, even if we don't always agree :) spends time in that country frequently, and reports back.

    Venezuela isn't paradise, according to  my personal source. But there are solid democratic reforms underway, not only in terms of improving the material conditions of impoverished citizens, but in terms of giving citizens a say over their own governance and their own working conditions.

    •  My sense from Venezuela (12+ / 0-)

      and this is just from reading the papers on it and keeping my eyes and ears open, is that Chavez really is mostly about his own personal power and that the reforms have not done a particularly good job of improving living conditions for the poor.

      What he has done, however, is profoundly change the national conversation inside Venezuela, putting front and center the idea that politics is supposed to be about providing for everyone's welfare and also deeply eroding the power traditional elites have held over the popular classes.

      I'd like the economic project to work better than it is, and I'd the democracy to be more real than it is, but at least some of the changes have been in a positive, progressive direction.  A diary like this, unfortunately, sweeps all that under the rug.

      Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

      by litho on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:08:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You almost got it (4+ / 4-)

        What is happening now is that the power held by the traditional elites is now being held by one person. For an equivalent in history, check out: "NAZI party, 1933-45".

      •  I'd be careful about certain generalizations (9+ / 0-)

        While Chavez is about him, and doesn't yet seem to be setting up a high-level institutional replacement for his personal power, it's also not so simple a case as to say that his policies have done little for the poor.  While they haven't been miraculous, there's quite a bit of evidence that the lives of the poor have in fact been very much improved.

        And this isn't really so difficult.  The previous regimes really cared little and did less for the country's vast poor that just some basic social democratic reallocations of resources can make huge differences in the lives of the most poor.

        When poverty stricken nations like Nicaragua under the Sandinistas go from mass illiteracy to 98% literacy in a few years, you could look at it as evidence for how miraculously the Sandinistas were performing;  you could also look at it as yet another situation where people's lives could be drastically changed by just having a government do those simple things it could do to improve the lives of the poorest and most powerless, and generations of governments just not doing them.

        •  That proves he's a commie thug (6+ / 0-)

          Obviously free speech is identical to broadcasting propaganda and flouting the law of the land.
          He has oppressed domestic oligarchs as well as foreign oil companies, who will speak for them if their CIA funded radio stations are silenced?

          •  Don't get me wrong (7+ / 0-)

            I'm not crazy about the law-flouting hysterical right wing coup-favoring Venezuelan private media.

            They're a bunch of lying, criminal shit-bags who are shocked as hell that a government might actually make them legally prove their title and licenses.

            That said, done in this fashion, even if you were to grant (which I'm not quite willing to do) that this wasn't specifically about controlling content, it's so heavy-handed and happening to stations of a certain view that people inside and outside of Venezuela both reasonably and unreasonably see this as no more than authoritarian silencing.

            On yet another hand, you couldn't actually democratize and allow more community access to and control of the radio & TV broadcasting spectrum unless you kick existing companies off.

            Companies have no divine right to own the public airwaves forever, except in the USA.

            •  We don't know what fashion it was done in (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RonV, Radical def

              all we have is a Reuters hit piece that doesn't discuss how many years of warnings or fines were ignored, or even investigate the possibility that this was routine, legal, and even below the radar of the popular elected leader of the country.  I suspect that these groups were actually hoping to be shut down so they could drum up some international outrage, since their domestic effectiveness as a propaganda organ is obviously minimal and shrinking.

          •  Free speech means free speech. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mia Dolan

            Either you believe in freedom of speech - even when you don't like what's being said - or you don't.

            Chavez is no better than Sgt. Crowley arresting Skip Gates in his own home because he yelled at him and called him some names.

            •  "Free speech" is ideological cover (5+ / 0-)

              for class interests. Nothing more.

              You'll pay me the 8s I won of you a-betting?

              by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:35:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then cracking down on leftist dissent is... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cletus from Canuckistan

                ...justified then?

                •  They don't have to crack down... (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RonV, Euroliberal, Sandino, Eiron, Eikyu Saha

                  ...they just drown it out. So much easier.

                  And, to be consistent with my principles, it's justified from the perspective of the ruling class, and is in fact the expected response, whose form can be or or less blatant and violent depending on the state of capitalist development. In our societies, violent suppression is rarely if ever necessary.

                  Cracking down in leftist dissent is not justifiable from my perspective. But I do not expect the enemy to play by my rules. Sadly, most progressives seem to think they need to play by the enemies rules because some 18th century bourgoise revolutionaries conceived those rules as universal. They are not.

                  But I'm nothing but a Marxist, after all.

                  You'll pay me the 8s I won of you a-betting?

                  by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:48:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Great false equivalence (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RonV, Euroliberal, Eikyu Saha

              Free speech is free speech. Broadcasting is a commercial use of public space and is regulated even in the good ol' US of A.   I suppose you also oppose all campaign finance laws because money is speech?  The oligarchy is still feee to say whet they want. but their media outlets must obey the law.  Thanks for your opinion, however. I respect your right to share it no matter how disinformed and deceptive your speech may be.

              •  Great anti-democratic dodge. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mia Dolan

                regulation of the airwaves should be political content neutral. Did you piss and moan about the Honduran coup plotters shutting down opposition news outlets?

                If you did, then you are a either a hypocrite or dishonest.

                •  Nope (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RonV, Euroliberal

                  I didn't see any shills posting disinformation on dkos that needed to be set straight.
                  I guess you have no substantial answer to my rebuttal?

                  •  I did answer it. (0+ / 0-)

                    selectively using "licensing" as an excuse to shut down political dissent is a violation of human rights. It's unconstitutional in the United States. Its a violation of international human rights norms as well.

                    And, you didn't answer my query to you about the same tactics being employed by the Honduran coup plotters. Was that justified too?

                    •  You said 'selectively using licensing' (0+ / 0-)

                      are you suggesting that happened in Venezuela? Do you have a source?  Did the Honduran thugs with their admittedly illegal coup also use an existing regulatory regime to silence the opposition, or did they just use guys with guns?

                      Weak sauce dude.

                      •  You are lying about what is going on. (0+ / 0-)

                        "More than 200 other radio stations are under investigation, as is Globovision — the only strongly anti-Chavez television station remaining on the open airwaves. Lawmakers, meanwhile, are discussing a bill that would punish yet-to-be-defined "media crimes" with up to four years in prison."

                        http://www.google.com/...

                        "Venezuela's top prosecutor insisted Thursday that freedom of expression in Venezuela "must be limited" and proposed legislation that would slap additional restrictions on the country's news media.

                        The new law would punish the owners of radio stations, television channels and newspapers that have attempted to "cause panic" and "disturb social peace," Attorney General Luisa Ortega said.

                        It also would punish media owners who "manipulate the news with the purpose of transmitting a false perception of the facts."

                        "Freedom of expression must be limited," Ortega said."

                        http://www.google.com/...

                        Its going beyond mere "licensing" issues to the point that dissent is going to be criminalized.

                        •  Thanks for contradicting your claim (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          RonV, Eiron

                          More than 200 other radio stations are under investigation, as is Globovision — the only strongly anti-Chavez television station

                          Does not sound very selective.

                          I share your concern for the potential limitations on expression, and they would be just as reprehensible as censorship of the public airwaves in the US is.  What are these lawmakers mentioned? I thought you said Thug Chavez shut down the opposition, now you say the legislature may restrict expression.

                      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                        That is the fucking point!  It is selective.  Only  opposition media are targeted, and that is done under a non-public process.  

                        Everyone should read this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/29/12482/1732

                        by Mia Dolan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:20:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  This is right, though ALL private media anti-Chav (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RonV, Sandino

                  But the dodge in Venezuela is that there just really are pretty much no privately owned broadcasters which are pro-government, so Chavez can easily claim that it's politically neutral.

                  If there were, in fact, a diversity of voices in the private media and this were occurring to only the politically anti-Chavez broadcasters, it'd be an easy case to prove.

                  Unlike the Honduran case, though, there are still all of the major anti-Chavez broadcasters going full force.  In Honduras, the opposition media was shut down and the military contacted stations to alert them of news censorship regulations.

              •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Riff

                But in the U.S., the process isn't politically motivated and its also transparent - not secret like in Venezuela.  How is it that people here are stupid enough to try to compare Chavez's suppresion of the opposition media to what we have here?  WTF?

                Everyone should read this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/29/12482/1732

                by Mia Dolan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:19:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  But licensing means licensing. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jeff Simpson, RonV, Sandino

              Yes, free speech means free speech, but it gets more complicated when it comes down to national policies on licensing the electromagnetic spectrum.

              For example, if it were up to me, we'd be able to reshuffle the now nearly sainted allocation of the radio & TV spectrum to nearly perpetual concentrated corporate ownership, and public and community access would be massively increased.

              I can say whatever the hell I want, but I can't demand that the government award me exclusive ownership of the electromagnetic spectrum forever.

              Chavez is indeed an authoritarian against his opponents;  but neither do we sanction here media organizations calling for the violent overthrow of the government, which Venezuelan private media do constantly.

              I know because I read the Venezeualan private newspapers and listen to the radio online, as I do the Colombian and Mexican and now Honduran media.

              Like I said, this is a bad sign, and it's distasteful.  But at least Hugo Chavez is being somewhat lawful.  Venezuela has never not had authoritarian leadership.  Yes, Chavez is wrongfully authoritarian in many ways -- but Venezuelans have not yet been able to not have an authoritarian government.

              In Colombia, the government (such as Uribe's Karl Rove, Jose Obdulia Garcia) goes out and publicly denounces a journalist or anchorperson as 'probably' tied to guerrillas, and then you get a call from one of the supposedly disbanded right wing death squad narco-paramilitaries that they know where you live and where you daughter goes to school and you better stop helping the guerrillas or suddenly something bad will happen.

              •  Just like in Honduras. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mia Dolan

                When the Coup plotters shut down opposition media outlets.

                I recall you were one of the biggest complainers over that -- and called it evidence that they were anti-democratic and trying to shut down dissent.

                You were right, of course.

                Just like I am right now.

                •  Read my comment above. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RonV, litho, Sandino

                  Like I said, I don't think this is a good policy and will inevitably be seen as an authoritarian gesture to force more pro-Chavez content on air, or at least less anti-government content.

                  That said, this really is a different situation than a violent, death squad famed military carrying out a coup taking over and in the immediate aftermath of the coup shutting down all opposition an imposing immediate censorship on those allowed.

                  Sure, there are some similarities, important ones -- authoritarian governments all have the power to make dissent more difficult.

                  But Venezuela has no lack of dissent, either, despite actions against these stations.  This is not like the Honduran case.  

                  In Venezuela broadcasting and print media are dominated by anti-government, anti-Chavez sources.  They are not rare, they are not teetering, and they are not hard to find.

                  In Honduras, there weren't 50 anti-coup stations and 20 of them shut down over license issues.  Complete control was issued.

                  Context doesn't justify -- but contextual differences are still important.

              •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

                if Chavez was being lawful, even somewhat, the process would be transparent.  As it stands, its not and the stations are not allowed to defend themselves.  

                Everyone should read this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/29/12482/1732

                by Mia Dolan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:22:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Sometimes 'Free Speech' ISN'T free speech (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eiron

              When newspapers offer the only viable way to get news, the speech market is prone to being monopolized.  Newspaper companies, like all corporate entities, strongly tend to represent the interests of their investors, the capitalist class.  The result is that 'free speech' for the newspapers can entail the denial of free speech to those who oppose certain aspects of capitalism.  

              Anyone who has lived both inside and outside of the U.S. will have noticed that the media of any given country gives voice to certain forms of speech while suppressing others.  My own enlightenment was in moving to Japan in 1979 and reading extended interviews with Soviet politicians and analysts that were conducted calmly, with great attention to detail and to analysis of various problems (Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation, economic production).  The Soviets at the time were not noted for critical openness, but the level of detail and introspection astounded me, since I was accustomed to seeing (in the U.S.) never more than decontextualized snippets of fiery and bellicose speeches, creating an image of utter unreason and obnoxiousness.  

              Was that not also a form of censorship?  

    •  Been to Venezuela many times (3+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hesiod, i8pikachu, erush1345
      Hidden by:
      Euroliberal

      Chavez is sucking the money out of the country, and covering his actions with empty rhetoric. He used Bush as a scapegoat, but now that Bush is gone, he is attacking Obama. Chavez is slowly assuming personal control of all major economic and political sectors in the country, much as did Hitler.

      In the meantime, the real problems of unemployment and lack of investment continue unabated.

    •  It really is true--the actual details, that is. (0+ / 0-)

      People are free to justify or relativize it, but you can take my word about the story itself.

      Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

      by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:28:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's Reuters. That's not an American news outlet (0+ / 0-)

      If you are going to make ad hominem attacks on me, at least make intelligent ones.

    •  Nope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Riff

      This comes from independent groups like Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch.

      But there are solid democratic reforms underway,

      completely false.  Dissent is being suppressed and opposition leaders are being rounded up and arrested.

      Everyone should read this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/29/12482/1732

      by Mia Dolan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:16:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chavez might be a kook (7+ / 0-)

    but as long as Venezuela isn't invading neighbors, bombing or oppressing ethnic minorities within their borders, building nuke weapons or WMD, or otherwise being a bad international actor, let the Venezuelan experiment in democracy proceed.  Non interference should be our policy.

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:52:56 AM PDT

  •  The move is appealing (5+ / 0-)

    because it looks anti-corporate, anti-elite.
    It is an attempt to nationalize the media, nothing more.  
    Marxian socialism is not democracy.  It cannot incorporate any democratic ideas and practices without endangering its legitimacy.
    Under certain "lavender" socialist regimes, the ones that were self-described as experimental, democratic practices and institutions could exist.  
    No one did more damage to the spread, strength and legitimacy of socialism as a Western ideology than Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels.  
    They took socialism and imprisoned it into a totalizing framework.  It has never recovered.

  •  The Caracas based Oligarchy (16+ / 0-)

    opposes Chavez, for obvious reasons.  He's nationalizing sectors of the economy, conducting land reform, and is increasing social spending.  That threatens them.

    Wait, sounds like opposition to Obama, don't it?

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 06:58:24 AM PDT

    •  Should we take Fox off the air? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i8pikachu, Neglected Duty

      Pause before answering that, citizen.

      Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

      by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:24:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only if they don't comply (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, Euroliberal, el cid, laurenc

        with the FCC and the law of the land.  They still have free speech, they just don't have the right to abuse the public airwaves. Use of broadcasting spectrum is a privilege that comes with certain responsibilities and restrictions. Why do you hate the rule of law?

      •  Yes, we should. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Euroliberal, Sandino, laurenc, Radical def

        Provided...that the willful and reckless spreading of false news can be proved under ordinary standards of criminal jurisprudence.

        If there are no laws they are breaking, well, there should be. The systematic broadcast of verifiable lies should damn well be a crime, and grounds for extinction of the right to operate.

        You'll pay me the 8s I won of you a-betting?

        by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:37:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  False Advertising (3+ / 0-)

          Well, for starters, I suspect we could demand that Fox News be removed from broadcasting because they aren't "news."  They're a propaganda arm of a political party who broadcast knowingly false opinion.  Fox News would likely lose any suit brought against it for defamation, even by a political personage, because they clearly act with malice.  So, perhaps Fox News should be restricted.  Fox Entertainment could easily be forced off the air for its violation of community decency norms.  They're multiple offenders on all counts.

          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

          by PrahaPartizan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:45:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino

            At some point, it becomes not a matter of free speech, but of law enforcement. Societies must arm themselves against elements who are systematically and brazenly poisoning the wells. Of course there are slippery slopes here, but to refuse to proceed on that account is to surrender the field to the interests behind Fox news, and to the amoral interests who simply try to expand their scope of operation by creating media monopolies. That these groups will always come into existence is as much a truism as that regulating them leaves scope for suppression of speech that should be protected. There is no politically neutral way to maintain that one danger trumps the other.

            You'll pay me the 8s I won of you a-betting?

            by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:24:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It isn't on MY air (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

        The truth, the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us all.

        by xpatriotvet on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 08:10:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  All kinds of people oppose Chavez (0+ / 0-)

      He's particularly mad that he lost the last vote in a large barrio inside Caracas - Petare. And he has used clearly authoritarian and illegal methods to try to castrate the popular mayor Antonio Ledesma who won't be one of Chavez's thralls.  

  •  Wish For More Light Than Smoke (6+ / 0-)

    I personally want to express my appreciation for your bringing this issue to attention, but, frankly, neither your comments nor the Reuters article explain anything.  Actually, the Reuters article is more a propaganda hit piece for right-wing elements than an explanation of why Chavez's actions are illegal and anti-democratic.  The Venezuelan government says that the stations are being closed because they violate government regulations, but Reuters does nothing to determine what those regulations might be and to explain why the anti-Chavez forces are correct in their assessment that this move is a takeover rather than good government.  All Reuters presents, which you regurgitate, are assertions that their closing is a government-mandated takeover.

    Also, I'd like to know just how this differs in effect one iota from the Bush administration's efforts to fine opposing stations and networks for small violations when it suited them.  That has the same effect of shutting down radio and TV stations too.  Does that make Bush the exact equivalent of Chavez?  By the logic presented here, it would.  

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:05:08 AM PDT

    •  You're blowing smoke. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345

      It's untrue that the Bush regime persecuted media outlets. Not that it would make it OK for Chavez, of course.

      Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

      by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:24:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gov't reaction to a certain"wardrobe malfunction" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PrahaPartizan, Sandino

        How a story like that could be spun would certainly depend on who writes the story.

        "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

        by RonV on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:43:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're out of your mind. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i8pikachu, erush1345

          That was political repression?

          Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

          by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:45:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Depends on who writes the history. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PrahaPartizan, Euroliberal, Sandino, Eiron

            And you used the term "persecuted" before you switched to "repression".

            Who, even prior to the Sept. 2004 TNG story, was long considered a left-wing media outlet? CBS

            Who was originally fined $550,000 for the "wardrobe" incident? CBS

            Clearly, liberal media outlet CBS was wrongly fined half a million dollars for an insignificant action just because the were not on board with the Bush agenda.

            See how easy it is to play this game?

            "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

            by RonV on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:00:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Scarecow Needs a Brain (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RonV, Euroliberal, Sandino

              Thank you for detailing the story-line I had alluded to.  Clearly, some folks are so literal that unless something is spelled out for them in each and every specific they can't imagine what is being discussed.  I don't know how they function in the modern world, unless they live in some form of assisted living environment.

              "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

              by PrahaPartizan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:40:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  One problem in trying to research (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, Sandino

      who does supply Chavez arms and where those arms end up is that the netbased resources seem to mostly emanate from RW think tanks and blogs or else their echo chambers

      •  one of his shipments of missles (0+ / 0-)

        washed up on the shores of surprised Arubans years ago, apparently dumped in a hurry from the shipping vesssel.

        Chavez said the missles were clever copies faked by the poisoned Oligarchs of Colombia to discredit him.

        Don't have a link any more, but you can look it up.  It might go back to clinton days.  But if you want something more recent look up the FARC lap top that was captured.

    •  Here (0+ / 0-)

      Also, I'd like to know just how this differs in effect one iota from the Bush administration's efforts to fine opposing stations and networks for small violations when it suited them.

      The difference is this: the process in the U.S. is transparent, subject to defined standards, and the stations can defend themselves and appeal.  In Venezuela none of that is true.  The process is secret and cannot be appealed.  

      Does that make Bush the exact equivalent of Chavez?  By the logic presented here, it would.

      Not to defend Bush, but it makes Chavez (who has a lot in common with Bush) much, much worse.

      Everyone should read this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/29/12482/1732

      by Mia Dolan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:31:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thought he'd done this several years ago. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eiron, Boreal Ecologist

    Oh, yeah.  That report turned out to be false.  Are we sure this one's true?

  •  Chavez = Mussolini (5+ / 2-)

    Talks like a Socialist, acts like a Fascist.

  •  Part of the (7+ / 0-)

    reason that democratically elected socialists often end up embracing repression (think Castro) is, not shockingly, because they are being constantly threatened by the US with overthrow.  

    It's just possible that if corporate interests would stop trying to destroy reform in Venezuela that actually benefits, oh, indigenous Venezuelans, Chavez's thuggish tendencies would not be A) growing and B) tolerated.  

    "Never trust a rich man when he offers you a truce."

    by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:08:16 AM PDT

    •  Nah ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Navigator, erush1345

      .. an enormous amount of cash is being stolen by the Chavez government, and that would be happening regardless of the presence of corporate interests. The level of poverty in Venezuela has increased dramatically over the last 10 years, despite the Potemkin villages built by Chavez.

      •  Poverty Rate falls from CEPR (9+ / 0-)

        You are repeating a RW talking point, began by Negroponte and Reich in 2005  

        CEPR is viewed as a credible outfit

        New Paper Explains Falling Poverty Rates in Venezuela, Corrects Misreporting

        For Immediate Release:  May 24, 2006

        Contact: Ira Arlook, 202-721-0111
                    Mark Weisbrot, 202-746-7264

        Over the past year, the statement that poverty in Venezuela has increased under the government of President Hugo Chávez has appeared in scores of major newspapers, on major television and radio programs, and even journals such as Foreign Affairs1 and Foreign Policy.2 These statements have only rarely been contested or corrected. [See Appendix to the paper for samples of this misreporting on poverty in Venezuela].

        An Issue Brief released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research looks at the numbers and concludes:

        The household poverty rate was reduced by nearly 5 percentage points, or 11.4 percent, from 42.8 percent in the first half of 1999 (when President Chavez took office) to 37.9 percent in the second half of 2005.  Since the economy has continued to grow rapidly this year (first quarter growth came in at 9.4 percent), the poverty rate is almost certainly significantly lower today.

        There is no evidence that the Venezuelan National Institute of Statistics has changed its methodology, so these numbers are directly comparable. The most recent figures are about what would be expected as a result of the rapid economic recovery.

        Most of the erroneous reporting on this issue results from using numbers gathered in the first quarter of 2004. These numbers reflect sharp increase in the poverty rate caused by the severe economic downturn of 2002-2003.

        Since the preliminary poverty numbers for 2005 were released in September 2005, it is not clear why the out-of-date, early 2004 numbers have continued to be widely used. The early 2004 numbers quickly became out of date because of the rapid growth of the Venezuelan economy in 2004 (17.9 percent) and 2005 (9.4 percent), which pulled millions of people out of poverty.

        The reduction in poverty noted above, since 1999, measures only cash income. This, however, does not really capture the changes in the living standards of the poor in Venezuela, since there have been major changes in non-cash benefits and services in the last few years - for example health care is now provided to an estimated 54 percent of the population. The paper looks briefly at the impact of these changes.

        CEPR

        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

        by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:20:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ANy evidence for the statement? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, newpioneer

        .. an enormous amount of cash is being stolen by the Chavez government

        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

        by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:22:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Do you SELL bullshit for a lliving? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, Euroliberal, Sandino

        because you seem to be overstocked.

        "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by bobdevo on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:09:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  All repression has its reasons (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bugscuffle, Stroszek, Neglected Duty

      That doesn't justify it, except under the most extreme circumstances, e.g. the banning of enemy propaganda during wartime.

      Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

      by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:14:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's say that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino

        your hard fought victory was threatened by outside forces who's motivation is 100% greed.  It is pretty easy to conclude the end justifies the means.

        "Never trust a rich man when he offers you a truce."

        by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:20:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "They said that (0+ / 0-)

        the government was suppressing their rights.  Of course, they couldn't be permitted to say that"

        Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

        by bugscuffle on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:25:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The old reference to bananna republic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, mikolo, Eiron

      is rooted in the history of the region. For an extended explanation:

      "The term was originally invented as a very direct reference to a "servile dictatorship" which abetted (or directly supported in return for kickbacks) the exploitation of large-scale plantation agriculture (usually banana).[1] The term was coined by the American author O. Henry in his 1904 book of linked short stories, "Cabbages and Kings", set in the fictional "Anchuria", which was based on his 1896-97 stay in Honduras.

      It was in Honduras that the United Fruit, the Standard Fruit, and Sam Zemurray's Cuyamel Fruit companies dominated the country's key banana export sector and support sectors such as railways. The United Fruit Company was nicknamed "The Octopus" (El Pulpo) for its willingness to involve itself in politics, sometimes violently. In 1910, Zemurray hired a gang of armed thugs including Lee Christmas from New Orleans to stage a coup in Honduras to obtain beneficial treatment from the new government. Zemurray would 22 years later take over United Fruit in a hostile bid.

      Four decades later, the directors of United Fruit played a role in convincing the Truman and Eisenhower administrations that the government of Colonel Arbenz in Guatemala was secretly pro-Soviet, thus contributing to the CIA's decision to assist in overthrowing Arbenz's government in 1954 (see Operation PBSUCCESS).[1] Pablo Neruda would later denounce the dominance of foreign-owned banana producers in the politics of several Latin American countries in a poem titled "La United Fruit Co"."

    •  So is that an excuse for Chavez (0+ / 0-)

      to encroach on freedom of speech? And I'm not sure that his increasingly strong dictatorial policies are helping the poor of his country.

  •  Clumsy & repressive, but Ven. media ignores law (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pletzs, RonV, bobdevo, Sandino

    The Venezuelan private media have absolutely gorged themselves on decades, generations of getting their absolute way via corruption, political cronyism, etc.

    This is moronic in style by Chavez, and time will tell if it's merely about controlling content, but the Venezuelan private media have absolutely ignored basic lawfulness in everything from basic legal ownership of stations & airwaves & licenses to repeatedly calling for the violent overthrow of the country's own government.

  •  I scent an astroturf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, newpioneer, Lost and Found

    campaign, that's the only logical explanation.  If so, it is a massive fail.  

    I hear the "clean" coal folks are hiring.  

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:48:18 AM PDT

  •  Yes - it's so much more civilized here in the US (6+ / 0-)

    where giant defense corp GE cuts a deal with giant right-wing media corp NewsCorp to make sure Olberemann and O'Reilly play nice.

    And - boy - thank god the MSM was there to save us from an ill-advised invasion of Iraq.

    And I hear Noam Chomsky is gonna have a new show on CNN.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:51:23 AM PDT

    •  that's a fairly pathetic response (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hesiod, bugscuffle, Neglected Duty

      Hesiod is not a right-winger, much less a representative of GE and Newscorp. Media corruption in the US doesn't excuse media repression in the Venezuela. Some of us are progressive when it comes to all nations.

      •  I hear you - but until Chavez starts torturing (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, Sandino, mikolo, Eiron

        children I think we have a mess in OUR backyard to concentrate on.

        "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by bobdevo on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 07:55:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you're not progressive if you're calling Chavez a (7+ / 0-)

        thug--you're demonizing him. And you're also not paying attention. Because the US media--working with your short attention span--works hard to do is discredit him.

        But what has changed in Venezuela isn't going to change if Chavez goes. And it's all across Latin America and the world. It involves myriad forms of commerce, non-dollar-denominated trade, and the rise of tens of thousands of grassroots organizations.

        See the meeting of Iran, India, China, and Russia last month, to which the US was conspicuously disinvited, even when we requested observer status. If you're just sitting inside the US media bubble and looking out and seeing enemies--if that's the image this provokes in you then--believe me--you are one of the victims, in no way a progressive.

        While Bush fiddled America lost the world, and that's a good thing. We need a multipolar world, and we are getting it, whether every last American sleeps through it or not.

        No offense--but the ignorance is pervasive, and it feeds all of the other stupidity. Unless you can separate yourself more fully from the bubble mindset, you're just not that different from a Republica; you're just buying different consumer goods.

        •  PS a guy who has been ratified in five (10+ / 0-)

          elections where international observers looked on in hopes of discrediting him may be dangerous to the world you hope to continue to impose on South America; he may be your political enemy (not mine, even if sometimes an idiot). But 'thug' runs thin and stupid as critique. Only in America.

          •  further CRITICAL observation: (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RonV, bobdevo, Sandino, ge0rge, Radical def

            there are many things that I don't like about Chavez, but by all measures the broad mass of the poor are far better off under him than they have been in the past, and the Venezuelan economy has not only grown but his government has worked to insulate it and the people from the current hard times--something our masters here have not deigned to do, simply snarfling at the trough as the rest of us go hungry, jobless, etc. This is heavily documented by people like Mark Weisbrot at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, for anyone who cares to examine the evidence.

            The support that Chavez has gained by helping countries throughout the region will not be bought back by the US--we have nothing to buy and never have offered anything, except food aid that worked to tie the poor to US farmers, guns, and the terrible exploitation of the poor that made our dizzy/stupid media bubble and ignorance possible in the first place. An airport is being built in St. Vincent at the moment with Cuba, Taiwanese, and Venezuelan financing and personnel--we shit our pants and invaded Grenada for the same move 25 years ago and are in such miserable diplomatic and economic straits now--thanks to Bush--that the US media dares not even mention it; why bother, it's only a humiliation. This is how we continue to dictate what happens in the world--not. The American 21st Century is stillborn, dead in its cradle; Obama knows it, but the Cold War dead-enders hang on for dear life. . .

            But here's the thing--if our major television and radio stations had actively called for AND worked for Bush's overthrow, believe you f'ing me they'd have been shut down.
            Yup, it's a revolution that Chavez is trying to enact, and yup--I'm not going to like many of the measures taken. I called the Venezuelan embassy the other day and barked at the person there about Chavez' support for Ahmedinejad.
            But what the Hesiods of this world think about it doesn't mean doodly. And I will be less than respectful of analysis that just barfs back up the mainstream's press's view of this situation or any other. This site goes beyond what the corporate media wants us to believe, and we should work to uphold that standard. I'd start by reading alternet.com, or z magazine (etc.)

            •  Or they might have just got letters (0+ / 0-)

              filled with anthrax.

              Preemptively.

            •  Good stuff, MoTownMatt! (0+ / 0-)

              Most of my coffeeshop buddies don't have the skill to sort through the trash for nuggets of truth like yours. You are absolutely right that this and other relevant blogs are replacing "mainstream media".

              Unfortunately, my generation grew up with our ears glued to the radio while reading the funnies, and were trained to believe that some effort was given by reporters to dig out the truth. We scoffed at the "Ruskies" because they were so dumb that they were taken in by "propaganda".

              I hope you young'ns will fare better.

              The truth, the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us all.

              by xpatriotvet on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 08:03:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  He is a thug. (0+ / 0-)

          Venezuela's top prosecutor insisted Thursday that freedom of expression in Venezuela "must be limited" and proposed legislation that would slap additional restrictions on the country's news media.

          The new law would punish the owners of radio stations, television channels and newspapers that have attempted to "cause panic" and "disturb social peace," Attorney General Luisa Ortega said.

          It also would punish media owners who "manipulate the news with the purpose of transmitting a false perception of the facts."

          "Freedom of expression must be limited," Ortega said.

          Ortega urged lawmakers to consider her suggestions as they debate a bill that would punish as-yet-undefined "media crimes." The National Assembly, which is controlled by allies of President Hugo Chavez, is expected to approve the measure in coming months.

          http://www.google.com/...

          Clearly the US media is biased and trying to undermine Chavez by quoting his Attorney General. How dare they?!?

          •  And your problem is...? WTF! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eiron

            These are all excellent reasons for shutting them down, seems to me, heh.

            Why should the government allow sedition?

            Why should Faux "News", Rush Limbo, hate radio, or any "other" slightly less egregiously explicit bourgeois corporate commercial mass media be allowed to blatantly promulgate sedition, with blatant lies, slander and racist slurs?

            "Free Speech" should not mean "freedom" to lie your ass off, to spew traitorous calls for anti-democratic fascist overthrow of the popular democratic regime...nor even to propagandize for "policy" that is clearly against the democratically determined public interest...eg: against environmental protection, or against consumer protection, or against labor protections, etc.

            It's one thing to discuss and debate the best ways to implement the popular democratic mandate...it's quite another thing to agitate and propagandize against the popular democratic mandate, which should be considered treason, in any genuinely democratic country.  

            Without democracy, we get capitalist oligarchy, and it's moribund form, fascism.  

            Those who oppose the popular democratic mandate are counter-revolutionary anti-democratic traitors...they should eat shit and die.

            What we have here is a classic right/left divide over a contrived strawman "issue" consistently brought by the right, against the left, over some jive ass supposed god-given "right" to the "freedom" to be a lying traitor.

            I say arrest all the corporate propagandist bastards and seize their assets.

            Appoint Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, and people like them to the FCC, to clean this shit up.  We need a whole new media infrastructure that will serve the people, instead of serving fascist corporate interests.

            No "freedom" for fascism!  Death to fascism!

            Suppression of fascism is NOT "oppression" or "repression", it's plain common sense.   Only an apologist for fascism, or a fool, would object to it.

            And that brings us to the question of what supposed "progressive" Democrats are doing here, slagging Chavez over bullshit?  Do we really "need" a fascist right opposition within the Democratic Party, or in the US?  Will this make us more "fair and balanced", really, or just more Faux-like?

            This kind of shit is what you get with a simplistic slogan like "More Democrats"...a lot of Blue Dogs, fools, and opportunist "undecideds" and "swing voters" who can't make up their freakin' minds between Republicans and Democrats, from one election to the next.  Fuck that!

            Meanwhile, 100 million eligible voters refused to vote last November, even for Obama, mainly due to their abiding disgust with the Blue Dogs, and a very common perception that there is "no difference" between the parties.  Go figure.

            Bring the Better Democrats!

            The "American" peoples know what's politically correct, and are considerably to the left of center, on all the most important issues.

            We are against racism, sexism, eco-rape, corporate rip off and imperialist wars to enrich profiteers...

            We want justice and peace, to save the planet.

            The party needs to start acknowledging and appealing to that, and stop weaseling to the right.

            Purge the Blue Dogs, and what remains of the Republicans, electorally, democratically!  

            What we need is a progressive super-majority in Congress, and all down the ladders of power, to the local levels.

            Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary concept.

            All Out for 2010 and 2012!

            Seize the Power!

            All Power to the People!

            "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

            by Radical def on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:20:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You are a thug (0+ / 0-)

            What are you even doing HERE??

            How have you gotten 0 HRs around all this??

            The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

            by ge0rge on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:24:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Too few facts to draw conclusions. (6+ / 0-)

        The Reuters article doesn't offer enough facts to draw reasonable conclusions.  The government said - and none of the station owners disputed - that there were broadcast license irregularities.  It's likely true there were irregularities.  Those owners also claim the "real reason" was political repression of their dissenting opinions, but we've no evidence of that beyond their claims.  

        Were reporters to show these same irregularities are ignored for pro-government stations, that would be evidence of political repression as the motive.  Were reporters to list all 34 of the stations that were shut down and document that each of the 34 was highly critical of the government, that would be at least suggestive of repression.  They did neither.

        I don't especially like or dislike Hugo Chavez, but corporations do have a horse in that race and the corporate-owned media haven't been objective in their coverage of Venezuelan politics.  The Reuters article reads to me like another corporate media hit piece, lacking the kind of fact-based reporting that I'd want before passing judgment.

        •  Here's some more facts: (0+ / 0-)

          http://www.google.com/...

          "Venezuela's top prosecutor insisted Thursday that freedom of expression in Venezuela "must be limited" and proposed legislation that would slap additional restrictions on the country's news media.

          The new law would punish the owners of radio stations, television channels and newspapers that have attempted to "cause panic" and "disturb social peace," Attorney General Luisa Ortega said.

          It also would punish media owners who "manipulate the news with the purpose of transmitting a false perception of the facts."

          "Freedom of expression must be limited," Ortega said.

          Ortega urged lawmakers to consider her suggestions as they debate a bill that would punish as-yet-undefined "media crimes." The National Assembly, which is controlled by allies of President Hugo Chavez, is expected to approve the measure in coming months."

          •  America needs a law like this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino

            Right now, in America, if you OWN a TV station, you can just LIE on it blatantly, TOTALLY MISLEAD the public, and you are "protected by the 1st amendment".

            The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

            by ge0rge on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:23:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Our Attorney General supports state secrets (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RonV, Tropical Depression

            and preventive detention.  We have 2,000,000 people in prison.  How many does Chavez have?

            "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

            by bobdevo on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:30:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Colombia's anti-democratic spy scandal widens (5+ / 0-)

    The massive case in Colombia of successive leaders of the nation's national intelligence / homeland security agency, DAS, using U.S.-provide electronic surveillance equipment to spy on the political opponents of the conservative regime and Supreme Court judges and human rights campaigners (including perhaps Americans) and journalists and businessmen, up to and including targeted assassination of 2 union organizers and a professor, widens even more ridiculously.

    Colombian newspaper El Espectador (Spanish only, sorry) details how the DAS spied on a professor for teaching his students to read two Colombian political authors, and so the DAS tried to get him fired as part of their repression against democratic organizations which could possibly oppose the conservative government.

    El grupo de inteligencia G-3 del DAS, en su afán por identificar y procesar a organizaciones con supuestos vínculos con grupos guerrilleros, llegó a escenarios ridículos. El más absurdo, sin duda, está documentado en un memorando fechado el 14 de diciembre de 2004, en donde se solicita investigar a Sonia Urrea, docente de sociales del prestigioso colegio bogotano Marymount, porque "estaría formando ideológicamente a su alumnado con algunos documentos rectores de las guerrillas colombianas".

    La base fundamental del DAS para sustentar semejante acusación es una bobería. La profesora Urrea, en su clase de undécimo grado, les solicitó a las estudiantes varias lecturas, no de guerrilleros, sino de juiciosos investigadores del conflicto colombiano, como el historiador de la Universidad Nacional Fabio Zambrano Pantoja o el sociólogo Alfredo Molano Bravo. En las lecturas de referencia también se estudió un artículo de Gloria Gaitán, la hija del caudillo liberal Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, y otro documento de la desmovilizada comandante del M-19 y ex parlamentaria Vera Grabe.

    Approximately 1/3 of the conservative, President-Uribe-allied Congress are either in jail, prison, or under investigation for seeking out and actively collaborating with the long-time government allied but now supposedly disbanded right wing death squad narco-paramilitaries.

    •  Sounds like a great diary. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      el cid, Mia Dolan

      Please post it and you can discuss Columbia there.

      •  yeah, and you... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, Situational Lefty

        can take your right wing reactionary "conservative" proto-fascist line to some right wing venue, mmmkay, Hesiod?

        "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

        by Radical def on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:24:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fascists deserve free speech, too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Situational Lefty

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:41:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think so. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eiron

            I see absolutely no logical basis for allowing freedom to those who would unjustly deny it to everyone else.

            Fascists have no inherent human "right" to be murderous sociopathic pigs, nor to advocate any such "opinions".

            I really am appalled that anyone could see any benefit to society, or to democracy, to say that fascists "deserve" anything but a swift kick in the ass, or worse.

            "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

            by Radical def on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 12:43:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed, the more talk (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RonV

            the dumber they look. Witness above.

            •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

              For someone who believes that the shutdowns are just licensing issues and not politically motivated, you are the last person who should be calling anyone stupid.  What a joke.

              Everyone should read this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/29/12482/1732

              by Mia Dolan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:34:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  LOL (1+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          blueness
          Hidden by:
          Radical def

          The fasicists here are the ones supporting supression of free speech.  Progressives should be condemning Chavez.

          Everyone should read this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/29/12482/1732

          by Mia Dolan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:32:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  NOT lol... (0+ / 0-)

            The canard that "socialists" or "communists", or the left in general, are a fascist tendency has no place in objective, rational discussion.

            It is an absolutely false, ad hominem slur, and thus seems deservingly subject to HR, as an inherently right wing, slanderous, politically incorrect "talking point" that seeks only to avoid and distract from their own fascistic position on any given topic.

            The fact that Faux "News" does it all the time should really give you pause for thought...

            There is nothing whatsoever "progressive" about allowing fascism even the slightest foothold, or any "rights" to any "freedoms" whatsoever, beyond the most fundamental human rights, in their arrest, prosecution, imprisonment, and/or in the case of military confrontation, which they tend to deliberately precipitate, their annihilation.

            Only those who detect some threat to their own right wing racist or socio-economic privilege, in responding to a left analysis, would stoop to such an absolutely false reversal of the truth as to call the left "fascist".

            Anyone who is confused by these terms should look up the words in the dictionary.

            Socialism is all about a workers'/popular democracy, and totally against irrational, unjust corporate capitalist elitist oligarchic oppression and exploitation, regardless of any errors that many "socialists" have made, in choosing to take the elitist "vanguard party" route toward that eventual theoretical goal of democracy.  

            While that may be a deep subject, with much room for serious criticism and discussion, that should not include slinging diversionary, perverse distortions of reality.

            Fascism is rooted entirely in corporate, capitalist elitism, chauvinism, and ruthless oppression and exploitation from the get go, and is best characterized as when those forces most hostile to labor, the most rabidly anti-communist, anti-democratic elements, seize the power, as their sole and ultimate goal.

            "Democracy", like "free speech", cannot mean handing over such critical tools for equitable management of the production and distribution of goods and services to the very enemies of democracy and free speech, to enable them to suppress those freedoms, in order to better rip us all off.

            "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

            by Radical def on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:23:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  uprated (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mia Dolan

            for two reasons:

            (1) Mia was not the first to hurl the "fascist" card; and

            (2) it is forbidden to HR someone you're quarreling with, and mia and def were definitely quarreling.

  •  Hugo Chavez (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mia Dolan, oceanstar17, i8pikachu

    is one of Ahmadinejad's greatest friends and strongest allies. That alone tells you what you need to know about him.

    •  that alone tells you nothing, (6+ / 0-)

      except that states daemonised by the hegemonic power, and who also have significant common economic interests, stick together some of the time.

      And on what planet does alleged personal friendship between a real head of state and a puppet mean a god damned thing in real power politics?

      You'll pay me the 8s I won of you a-betting?

      by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:43:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That tells you a lot (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hesiod, Mia Dolan, i8pikachu

        when you have Chavez supporting Ahmadinejad's fake election victory and his and Khamenei's crackdown on Iranians that were duped into voting during this election.

        http://www.csmonitor.com/...

      •  Chavez also defended the Iranian election theft (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mia Dolan, Mithridates, i8pikachu

        ...and subsequent crackdown on dissent. That tells you even more.

        •  It was also crassly material. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hesiod

          Chavez, in my view, probably cares less about who's ruling Iran than in maintaining some pretty valuable trade deals with regard to tractors and auto production, which Iran is strong in, and so he just really doesn't give much of a flip about what Iranian civilians are experiencing or want.  It's just nakedly cynical.

        •  You don't know jack about Iranian election"theft" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          LOTS of people "defend" that.
          The burden of proof is the side ALLEGING "thievery" AND IT HAS NOT BEEN MET.

          The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

          by ge0rge on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:21:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes!!! (0+ / 0-)

            An Ahmadinejad defender!  You know that it would only be a matter of time with all the apologists for Chavez's suppression of dissent.  

            Everyone should read this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/29/12482/1732

            by Mia Dolan on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:35:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Guilt by association is bullshit (0+ / 0-)

              I am not defending Ahmadinejad,
              and even if I were, that would have nothing to
              do with Chavez.  The fact that you think this is
              a legitimate debate tactic proves your unfitness
              to even be here.

              I am, however, defending the people of Iran WHO VOTED.
              Why you think you know how they voted BETTER THAN I DO
              is something YOU CanNOT defend.

              The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

              by ge0rge on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:11:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't need to associate him with admed to guilt (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mia Dolan

                He's provided weapons to terrorists.

                •  so what?? (0+ / 0-)

                  He's provided weapons to terrorists.

                  According to the S.African gov't, Nelson Mandela was a terrorist.

                  During WW2, the Vichy gov't. thought that the Resistance were terrorists.
                  Whether ANYbody is or isn't "a terrorist" ABSOLUTELY NEVER MATTERS AT ALL.
                  What MATTERS is WHAT YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR!

                  The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

                  by ge0rge on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 06:19:39 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Because (0+ / 0-)

                the election was so obviously fraudulent that it is indefensible.   You are saying fuck you to the people of Iran.

                Everyone should read this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/29/12482/1732

                by Mia Dolan on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:57:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You don't know (0+ / 0-)

                  the election was so obviously fraudulent that it is indefensible.

                  This is just bullshit.
                  This is NOT obvious TO YOU at all.
                  You are just parroting statistics that have been
                  spun to dupe you.

                    You are saying fuck you to the people of Iran.

                  No, I'm saying fuck you TO YOU and your ignorant gullibility.

                  The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

                  by ge0rge on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 06:18:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

                    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                    Ahmadinejad thanks you for your support.

                    •  DIGIT counts?? (0+ / 0-)

                      This was just bullshit.
                      If that's all they got then they got nothing.
                      Here's something more relevant for you:
                      the fact that totals were manipulated does not show
                      that the election would not have been won by the same person by a smaller margin if they had not been.
                      The candidate you are touting is the one that conservative forces in THIS country are favoring.

                      The Post article is not convincing.

                      The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

                      by ge0rge on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:33:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No (0+ / 0-)

                        The candidate you are touting is the one that conservative forces in THIS country are favoring.

                        I would hope that everyone - both liberals and conservatives - support Ahmadinejad's opponent.  If you are supporting Ahmadinejad, you sure aren't a liberal.  

      •  to respond to the previous two comments... (4+ / 0-)

        ...I don't approve of Chavez' support for the Iranian dictatorship. But my point was that such support proves very little about his intentions.

        Otherwise you'd have to grant that (to give but a few examples) American support for Pinochet and for that great democrat Ferdinand Morcos was conclusive evidence that America at the time was governed by thugs.

        States support the governments of their temporary allies, and as I noted above, Iran and Venezuela, as major independent sovereign oil producers, have considerable common interests.

        You'll pay me the 8s I won of you a-betting?

        by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:00:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, here's the thing (0+ / 0-)

          I've never liked about him, or Ahmadinejad, and this goes for all politicians as well. I don't trust anyone that gets so easily excited or is that interested in what they have to say, nor those that always conjure up the spectre of some outside force whenever questions about their acts or leadership come up. This is always a warning sign. It's also why the two of them are still a bit taken aback and the suddenly intelligent US foreign policy now and the lack of a bogeyman to conjure up whenever it's convenient. There's simply nothing good about Chavez, and his support for the crackdown in Iran makes him a thug. The recognition of countries next to Iran (Turkey, Tajikistan etc.) I can understand as they don't want to disrupt trade with their neighbour, and they would also be okay with someone else leading the country. Chavez, however, has a personal interest in seeing Ahmadinejad remain in power, so this is about him and Ahmadinejad and not Venezuela and Iran.

          I don't know enough about Venezuelan politics to know if there is another good candidate waiting in the wings - oftentimes there are simply no good prospects for a people. In Iran it's very clear who the people chose, and who deserves to be in power.

          •  Whoops, correction (0+ / 0-)

            "all politicians as well" was supposed to be all politicians that resemble those two. Not all politicians.

          •  I can sympathise with much of your position. (0+ / 0-)

            It's not that I like dictators as such. But, I am not convinced that "there's simply nothing good about Chavez". I have not made enough of a study of the matter. I do tend to give him of the doubt because of some of his opponents. I seem to recall the WSJ op-ed page practically adding Venezuela to the Axis of Evil, and that's just crazy talk.

            I do not know what personal interest you think Chavez has in Iranian politics. He may have one, for all I know, but I can't see why, beyond the common economic interests I mentioned.

            I've travelled in Venezuela (not much of a basis for my opinions, I'll admit) and opinion seemed divided. It was seemed the most dangerous place I've ever been, but I don't think Chavez is to blame for that.

            You'll pay me the 8s I won of you a-betting?

            by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:31:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not just my opinion (0+ / 0-)

              Look at this:

              http://www.allvoices.com/...

              Since when does a leader of a country wish someone good luck in an election and support their position ahead of a vote? It's not just my opinion that he has a personal friendship with Ahmadinejad, and it's very obvious that both of them wish times were simpler, as they were before Obama was elected.

              Axis of Evil is crazy talk. Here's the difference between what I'm saying and what they are: neocons when they recite their talking points are drumming up support for some halfassed strategy of theirs; I'm simply agreeing that Chavez is a thug, and that he's anti-democratic and is supporting his friend who is suppressing the people of Iran. I have no idea whether there is a better candidate out there for the people of Venezuela at the moment.

    •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mia Dolan

      You are 100% about that but some people rationalize him here anyway.

    •  And you know this because you saw them having (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, Sandino

      a beer together?  Or what? Or is it just that both nations have a history of having their natural resources stolen by European and American corprortions?

      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

      by bobdevo on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 10:40:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When Venezuelans demonstarte their (5+ / 0-)

    dissatisfaction with Chavez, then I'll be interested.  The U.S. has no business meddling in the internal affairs of another country.

    "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

    by lordcopper on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:42:59 AM PDT

    •  And Chavez has no business meddling in Honduras (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mia Dolan, Mithridates
      •  I'll leave that argument to the Hondurans. BTW, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, Lost and Found

        they're not a model democracy either.

        "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

        by lordcopper on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:57:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then let Chavez deal with US meddling. (1+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Mia Dolan
          Hidden by:
          lordcopper

          And...shut up. (By your own standards).

          •  U.S. meddling costs U.S. citizens lives and (2+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino, Eiron
            Hidden by:
            Hesiod

            money.  I challenge you to produce a viable theory of how a 3rd world country like Venezuela is a threat to U.S. interests.  We cuddle up to worse dictators in pursuit of our economic interests daily.  Why is Venezuela so important?  Perhaps you can focus your intellect on answering that question rather than stifling debate with statements like "shut up".

            "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

            by lordcopper on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:14:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You sure beat up that straw man. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mia Dolan, electronicmaji

              I said Chavez should stop meddling in Honduras. You said that we should stp meddling in Venezuela and that you would leave that up to Honduras.

              I said the same thing should be applicable to our supposed meddling in Venezuela then.

              That's Chavez's problem. (According to you). And we should just shut up and let him deal with it.

              Oh--and I HR'd you for abusing TOS.

          •  Is the US meddling? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RonV, Sandino, lordcopper, Radical def

            From the waning days of the Bush Administration.  And you support this?  The Venezuelan opposition were in town to meet at State last week.  

            Did Venezuela's Opposition Meet with US Officials in Puerto Rico?

            h
            Jan 14 2009
            Miguel Tinker Salas
            Even by Venezuelan standards, the story seemed implausible. On January 9, a young reporter Pedro Carvajalino, from community television station Ávila TV, filmed four leading figures of Venezuela's right-wing opposition returning from Puerto Rico. They had just arrived by private jet from the U.S. territory, where they had purportedly met with representatives of the U.S. Department of State.

            According to emails obtained by the reporter, officials held the meeting to plan strategy and secure funding aimed at defeating a proposed amendment to the Venezuelan constitution that would allow elected officials, including President Hugo Chávez, to seek reelection.

            The story first broke on Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), a government television channel. The brewing scandal has quickly become a centerpiece of a debate over U.S. interference in the internal affairs of the country as it prepares to vote on the re-election referendum in February.

            Visibly surprised by Carvajalino's presence, the four individuals included three members of opposition parties: Jorge Borges a leader of Primero Justicia; Luis Planas, Secretary General of the Christian Democratic Party (COPEI); and Emilio Barboza, President of Un Nuevo Tiempo. The fourth was Alberto Federico Ravell, the director of Globovisión, a more strident local version of Fox News in Venezuela. Globovisión's editorial line and 24-hour programming are vehemently opposed to the Chávez government.

            NACLA

            Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

            by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:20:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I dunno. But its Chavez problem. (0+ / 0-)

              We are not allowed to criticize any other government for meddling in another government's affairs. Especially is Chavez is doing the meddling.

              Though, only US meddling counts, apparently.

              •  In a political blog (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RonV, Sandino, lordcopper, Radical def

                based in the US, about US politics, well, yes, US meddling is rightly a topic of interest, and might "count", whatever that means.

                A foreign leader trying to close down "a more strident version of Fox news, which is advocating that Chavez be violently deposed and installing a "temporary dictatorship" that hasn't paid their fees and taxes, is less of a hot burner issue.

                Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:28:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No diaries about Israel here then, (0+ / 0-)

                  Or Iran.

                  Or even Honduras!

                  And, you are deliberately lying about what is happening in Venezuela -- as I have pointed out in multiple comments with supplemental evidence on this diary.

                  •  Israel and Iran would be fair game (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RonV, Sandino, lordcopper

                    if the US had a policy of meddling in internal affairs of those countries.   Especially if we were using US tax dollars and other instruments of national power to further specific policy objectives.

                    I challenge you to find a single untruth in anything I've said.  Otherwise, stop the name calling, it weakens, not strengthens the case you are trying to make.

                    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                    by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 10:30:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Using the word "meddling" to describe: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordcopper
        1. Sponsoring and backing a coup against a government (US "meddling" in Venezuela, and
        1. Saying stuff.  Period.  Full stop.

        doesn't actually make them the same thing.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 10:01:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And we do? (0+ / 0-)

        Or are you saying we aren't or haven't?

        "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by bobdevo on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 10:39:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

        EVERYbody should be meddling in Honduras right now.
        The existing government of Honduras is completely illegitimate.  After Zelaya gets restored, THEN you can talk about people not meddling in Honduras.

        The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

        by ge0rge on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:20:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i8pikachu, electronicmaji

      The way things are going, though, they may not get a chance to do so in a free and fair election.

      •  The facts argue against your assertion. Chavez's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, Sandino, Eiron

        attempt to change the constitution was defeated.  Evidently the system works in Venezuela to some degree.  Hell, we literally had a lawless, tyrant running the U.S. for eight years.  Who are we to tell another country how to run their internal affairs?

        "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

        by lordcopper on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:28:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have every right to criticize (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          electronicmaji

          Venezuela. Chavez is bringing his country toward an authoritarian regime. I don't know why you and any of the apologists for him don't see that.

          •  No one said you didn't have the right to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino

            criticize Chavez. I merely pointed out that  Venezuelans seem to be adept at limiting Chavez's power when it suits them (as supported by the facts), and that the U.S. Govt doesn't have a dog in that fight.  He's not a threat to U.S interests, and we have more pressing issues to focus on.  

            Our democracy is collapsing from within, not because of outside forces.  And in any event our history in that part of the world doesn't give us any credibility.  If what you're interested in is democracy, the one here at home could use some help.

            "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

            by lordcopper on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 10:43:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You are singularly ignorant... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino

            about this topic. You ask questions that have already been answered and post opinions that have no basis in fact and in fact have already been discredited.

            Maybe not singularly ignorant, though. Maybe intentionally ignorant is the better description.

            At least your trolling activities here have subsided lately.

            "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

            by RonV on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 01:43:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, the Attorney General of Venezuela Stating (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mia Dolan

              That "Free Speech Must Be Controlled" makes accusations of authoritarianism not based in fact.

              Haha, you're pathetic. Go defend Chavez, even while he tortures dissenters, you'll defend him once they start being hanged for trying to "destroy the boliviarian revolution" too. We're already halfway there. People will be PUT IN JAIL for trying to promote ideas that are "against the boliviarian revolution"

              Fucking disgusting.

              •  Whaaaaa? (0+ / 0-)

                I wasn't aware that I defended Chavez for torturing dissenters. (Nor have I seen any evidence that he has done so.) In fact, I haven't said anything about Chavez in this diary.

                I also wasn't aware that I was planning on defending him in the future if he ever decides to start hanging dissenters.

                But thanks for reading my mind, seeing the future, and most important of all... demonstrating how to post idiotic comments.

                "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

                by RonV on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:09:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Intentionally ignorant? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mia Dolan

              I have a problem with Chavez cracking down on media who oppose him. This goes beyond RCTV, where he had some points, though I still disagree with him there. It seems like he is starting to crack down on anyone who disagrees with him. I could be wrong, but I see him embracing a more and more authoritarian path. I just don't agree with his nationalizing of private business, taking away free enterprise, and cracking down on the free speech of those who oppose him. Just because he shares left wing values doesn't mean that he is write to crack down on the opposition.

              •  I did leave open the possibility... (0+ / 0-)

                that it's not intentional.

                There is information in this diary that disproves your claims that Chavez does not help the poor and that he doesn't hold fair elections.

                But that's okay. Do your will.

                "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

                by RonV on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 03:17:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  He still put the laws into effect (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mia Dolan

          even if they were defeated publicly. You do realize that don't you?

          That means he did NOT abide by the vote.

      •  What is there TO elect ABOUT?? (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        blueness
        Hidden by:
        electronicmaji

        Do you think AMERICAN elections are legitimate??
        Do you think the Republican Party is legitimate??
        The Republican party is just one large conspiracy against the civil rights of black people, brown people, gay people, poor people, religious dissidents, AND YOU, if you should ever need medical insurance.  You have absolutely no idea why elections even MATTER.

        The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

        by ge0rge on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:20:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Look for Chavez's apologists here to rationalize (4+ / 0-)

    his actions even further. These closures go beyond RCTV anyway. It seems like he is on the course to becoming a full-fledged dictator. And given that he is cracking down on dissent it's only a matter of time before Venezuela loses more of its free speech, free elections, and due process.

    •  What course of action (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino

      should the US take?   Based on this new information?

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:33:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Economic sanctions. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i8pikachu, electronicmaji

        And freeze any assets of Chavez gvt officials.

        •  Any evidence (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RonV, bobdevo, Sandino, Lost and Found

          the assets of the Chavez gov't were wrongly acquired?  

          And economic sanctions on any government that imposes restrictions of press freedom?

          Who would we buy shit from?

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:44:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We're not even doing that in Honduras (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RonV, Sandino, Eiron, Lost and Found

          And that was a violent overthrow of an elected government by a death squad military.  You're saying this action by Chavez is more serious?

          And we're still giving the largest aid in the hemisphere to Colombia?

          •  We are mediating a negotiated settlement... (0+ / 0-)

            ..in Honduras.

            If I thought that had a chance in hell of being successful in Venezuela, I'd say we should be doing that.

            •  Fine, but we have massive control over Honduras (0+ / 0-)

              And do not have so over Venezuela.  We have direct control over enormous amounts of Honduran funding.

              In addition, we ought be doing more in Honduras, given that (a) it was we who trained and supported their death squad military (and, no, that phrase isn't some sort of lefty tic or exaggeration) and (b) forced into place their sham of a Constitution under the death squads' tutelage in 1982.

              But fine, you think we need to impose sanctions on Venezuela and freeze assets (by the way, Chavez wasn't stupid enough to leave his reserves in U.S. hands anyway, he learned that lesson early on, but, whatever) because they're cracking down on broadcasters.

              •  We could seize Citgo. (0+ / 0-)
              •  Consider why (0+ / 0-)

                the USA needs to try to manipulate the governments of other countries when we lag behind in a great many areas ourselves.

                As long as the attitude persists that we need to muscle our way around the hemisphere there will be governments who are so weak that they will wait for us to do their jobs for them.

                Be patient.
                Do nothing in regard to other countries.
                Heal thyself...first.

                The truth, the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us all.

                by xpatriotvet on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:38:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  ? (0+ / 0-)

                  We already are involved in Honduras.  Massively.  Hell, our soldiers are there right now.  This might be an appropriate comment with regard to many countries, but not this one.

                  •  Understood, but (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    el cid

                    what I meant was that we need to remove those US military people as soon as Honduras rises to a level of attention above health care, North Korea, the economy...etc...blah, blah, blah...you know what I mean. After all, we have considered abusing Latin America normal for so many years it is hard to consider ourselves in any other way.

                    I believe that the most recent news has Arias urging the local countries to get more involved in ending this crisis.

                    The only military presence in Latin America that we can justify is a few in full dress to decorate our embassies.

                    The truth, the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us all.

                    by xpatriotvet on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 07:41:20 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Well, heck, why don't we just invade (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, Eiron, Lost and Found

        and then we cbn bring democracy to Venezuela like we did in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        I'm SURE the Venezuelans will thanks us someday!

        "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by bobdevo on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 10:38:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We never need to rationalize Jack (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, Sandino, Eiron

      The Bush administration tried to overthrow a legitimate democratic government there.
      EVERYthing else IS AFTERmath.  NO further rationalization REQUIRED.

      All you do by whining about this is prove you are too conservative to even be here.

      The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

      by ge0rge on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:18:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't support Hugo Chavez (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mia Dolan

        Do you think most liberals support him in this country? Do you think most Democrats support Chavez?

        •  ALL liberals support Hugo Chavez (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          parsley44

          If you don't then I just pull your card.
          "Democrats" is obviously a different story.
          Obama has to worry about the center; he has
          to remain electorally viable.

          Ask yourself why any so-called "liberal" would side WITH YET ANOTHER attempt by American CONSERVATIVES to VIOLENTLY OVERthrow a legitimate democratically elected government. Chavez IS NOT THE ISSUE because he has HAD TO REACT to that kind of ILLEGITIMATE EVIL military pressure!

          Anybody too stupid to understand this, or stupid enough to think that it was bad when we did it with Pinochet/Allende but is somehow OK now, is WAY too stupid to be a liberal.

          The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

          by ge0rge on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:17:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Step back:Cause for concern even if not anti-Chav (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eiron

    Okay, there may be some phrasings or accusations with which people who have some respect or appreciation for Chavez' identifiable accomplishments for Venezuela or who are alert to frequently encountered fraudulent or overblown charges by Chavez opponents.

    But it's quite reasonable to look upon this and other proposals directly seeking to apply the law and prosecution to broadcast content as quite worrisome.

    Sure, Chavez and allies claim that this is about a broader struggle to 'democratize' the electromagnetic broadcast spectrum, and to favor some type of public or community access over the entrenched elite private media.

    But you don't have to trust those claims.  It may not be impossible, but it's also reasonable to see this as a type of crackdown.

    The Venezuelan anti-Chavez opposition is as incompetent, clownish, insensitive, and conspiratorial as they come -- but this doesn't mean that the government should act or be allowed to act as if this would forever be the case.

    What if the opposition got its act together, won the next elections, and then had too many tools of media control at their hand?  What then?

    Okay, this is not quite as simple as a free speech / not free speech issue, but it's true that how the Chavez government acts upon licensing questions can have long-lasting repercussions on the types of dissent encouraged.

    After all, even in purely practical terms, if you suppress the decent opposition, then you're going to be left with the indecent opposition.

  •  Chavez lovers ignore the facts once more. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Riff, Mia Dolan

    When even Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders have pointed out that Chavez is targeting only dissident stations.

    The draft legislation on "media crimes" would make it a criminal offense to disseminate through a media outlet "false" news that "harm[s] the interests of the state " and to "mislead or distort news, generating a false perception of the facts or creating opinions, if this affects social peace, national security, public order, mental health or public morale." Anyone found guilty of this "media crime" could face a prison sentence of up to four years...

    Targeting opposition radio, Minister Cabello proposed that no more than three radio stations would be able to group together to transmit the same programming, for a maximum of half an hour per day. Cabello justified this measure by stating that the radio stations that share programs to reach wider audiences "have tried to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution" and are used to "hear the voice of the oligarchy, the interests of the oligarchy, the enemies of the people... to try to brainwash the Venezuelan people."

    By contrast, the government continues to get national coverage by forcing private radio stations to air Chávez's speeches live.

    "Limiting free speech on such political grounds is essentially an indirect way of imposing censorship," said Vivanco.

    In a September 2008 report, "A Decade Under Chávez," Human Rights Watch documented steps the Chávez government has taken to undermine free expression through a variety of measures aimed at reshaping media control and content. So far, a vibrant public debate continues in Venezuela, in which anti-government and pro-government media are equally vocal in their criticism and defense of Chávez. However, by expanding and toughening the penalties for speech and broadcasting offenses, Chávez and his legislative supporters have strengthened the state's capacity to limit free speech, and created powerful incentives for self-censorship. It has also abused the state's control of broadcasting frequencies to intimidate and discriminate against stations with overtly critical programming.

    Reporters Without Borders vigorously condemns the massive closure of broadcast media on allegedly "administrative grounds." The government announced yesterday that it was withdrawing the licences of a total of 34 radio and TV stations, 13 of which already stopped broadcasting yesterday.

    "Is it still possible to publicly express any criticism at all of President Hugo Chávez’s "Bolivarian" government?" the press freedom organisation asked. "This massive closure of mainly opposition media is a dangerous for the future of democratic debate in Venezuela and is motivated by the government’s desire to silence dissent. It will just exacerbate social divisions."

    Yeah, but obviously, those two organizations are dripping with bias.

    And they accuse US of conspiracy theories...

    They show that they are the enemy of freedom of speech, and any other freedom, as long as the beloved Chavez is the one taking it away.

    The law puts people IN JAIL for dissenting against Chavez. JAIL people. For communicating one's thoughts and ideas.

    This is absolutely-unfucking-defendable.

    he closures came on the heels of a government announcement that it intended to "democratise" Venezuela’s media. Attorney general Luisa Ortega Diaz presented a bill to the national assembly on 30 July providing for severe punishments for "media crimes".

    "The Venezuelan state must regulate freedom of expression," Ortega said. "I demand that a limit be placed on this right." The bill envisages prison sentences for those who break the 2004 Radio and TV Social Responsibility Law, which until now punished violators with fines and licence suspensions.

    Yeah, anyone who say's they're not trying to regulate speech is outright lying. And anyone who tries to defend this is outright scum.

  •  The sad truth about Chavez is he's worse than W. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mia Dolan

    Chavez always bitches and moans about the US's "Empire" but Chavez has it within his own sights to create a empire of his own. It's part of the starting papers of his little "Boliviarian Revolution." The plan is to first, reunite the Great Colombia, and then all of America, under a one government state that is based on his politics.

    To do this he has given funds to politicians like Evo Morales, Correa, Noriega, and Kirchner, in order to get them elected. Meddling with those countries politics far more than the United States ever did.

    Besides that he has also supported submersive communist terrorist guerillas in other countries like Colombia and Peru in order to overthrow those countries governments and bring them to his side.

    Chavez is building his own Empire, and it's far more open and clear cut than any empires that the USA is accused of trying to form.

    Chavez is nothing more than a poor and stupid hypocryte.

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