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VENEZUELA: PROBLEMS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA CONTINUE.

By Andres Gaudin

Relations between the government and the press are again dominating the political scene in Venezuela, and this time, as in 2007 with Radio Caracas Television (RCTV RCTV Radio Caracas Televisión (Venezuelan TV channel) ), the spotlight is on a TV channel, Globovision, which received harsh sanctions. President Hugo Chavez also warned that the station's broadcast license could be revoked "if it does not reconsider its campaign that only aims to sow panic among the population." At the same time, 240 radio stations could be taken off the air because they failed to meet the deadline to reregister their technical data and legal composition with the Comision Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CONATEL). In the absence of a solid and organized political opposition at which to take aim, the government is accusing the media of "orchestrating a terrorist campaign," which it alleges includes paramilitary groups The list of paramilitary groups includes all organized armed groups not officially considered a national military force. Groups are listed alphabetically, with the common name as the primary entry.  operating in the western states on the border with Colombia.

Globovision fined for donated airspace

On June 5, the tax agency (Servicio Nacional Integrado de Administracion Aduanera y Tributaria, SENIAT) fined Globovision US$2.3 million. It said the TV channel had evaded taxes for ad revenues from political parties and business chambers that in 2002-2003 organized a prolonged strike in the petroleum sector culminating with the frustrated overthrow of Chavez (see NotiSur, 2002-03-22, 2002-04-19). During those dramatic days, the station did not run paid ads, and the airspace normally taken up with commercials was filled with messages calling on the public to mobilize against the constitutional government.

"That airspace had no value," said Globovision director Alberto Federico Ravell.

"We have proved that the station donated the time, but all donations are taxed," said Fanny Marquez, general manager of SENIAT legal services legal services n. the work performed by a lawyer for a client. .

"Neither Ravell nor Marquez said so, but everyone knows the airspace was very valuable. It was worth a government, it was worth power," author Luis Britto Garcia wrote in his column in the daily Ultimas Noticias.

On June 17, CONATEL took aim at Globovision, opening an administrative investigation that can also include criminal charges and could lead to revocation of the broadcasting license. CONATEL asked the prosecutor's office to determine whether the station committed a crime under the Ley de Telecomunicaciones, in which Article 171 establishes sanctions for media that "use or permit the use of telecommunications services to assist in the commission of crimes."

CONATEL alleges that Globovision violated that law during the transmission of the program Alo Cuidadano, which included an interview with Rafael Poleo, editor of the daily El Nuevo Pais, who said, "Chavez is going to end up like Benito Mussolini." The Italian dictator from 1922 to 1945, mentor and ally of Adolf Hitler was executed by a group of partisans and his body was hanged upside down in a public plaza in Milan.

"Globovision likes to play the victim, but it has been a sick communications medium that violates regulations, resorts to lies, distorts the truth, does everything to destabilize de·sta·bi·lize  
tr.v. de·sta·bi·lized, de·sta·bi·liz·ing, de·sta·bi·liz·es
1. To upset the stability or smooth functioning of:
 the government, and tries to provoke violence," said Manuel Villalba, president of the Comision de Medios de Comunicacion of the Asamblea Nacional (AN).

"Those people need to think a bit with a clear head before airing words such as those of Mr. Poleo, because, if they don't, if they don't change, the station will soon be off the air," warned Chavez. "It is absurd that they complain that we have a dictatorship in Venezuela that violates freedom of expression when they broadcast the words of a man who calls for hanging the president in a plaza."

Radio stations fail to update information

While the Globovision case was being investigated, on July 3 the government announced that it would revoke the licenses of 240 radio stations that had not updated their information with CONATEL. An Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)

Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
 story filed that day explained that the government began a process in May to update data of TV and radio stations based on the law regulating the sector, which requires stations to appear before CONATEL to submit the necessary information. The deadline for receiving the information, which had been extended for almost a month, was June 23. As of that date, 86 AM stations and 154 FM stations had not fulfilled the requirement.

In an interview with foreign journalists who broadcast condemnation of the announcement by the Asociacion Interamericana de Radiodifusion (AIR), Chavez said, "People need to know that when someone has a radio station, that person is only the owner of the equipment and the installations, but the airwaves are the property of all, of the state. The state authorizes their use. They need permission to operate, and they need to fulfill certain administrative formalities, but they have not done so. Therefore, we are applying the Constitution and the law, and that includes, although some don't like it, that the activity be regulated, the business activity not the press function."

AIR and the Camera Venezolana de la Industria de la Radiodifusion (CVIR CVIR Commercial Vehicle Inspection Reports ) say the announced license revocation of those 240 stations has no legal foundation, threatens freedom of expression, and violates the Constitution and other international treaties.

The government says that numerous stations, in addition to those that did not fulfill the administrative requirements, operate without permission and that "there is a media latifundio la·ti·fun·di·o  
n. pl. la·ti·fun·di·os
A large landed estate in Spain or Latin America.



[Spanish, from Latin l
 in the country," in that 27 families control 32% of the broadcast spectrum.

In response, the CVIR accused the government of exercising "a virtual information monopoly" through its six TV channels (five national and the continental network Telesur), two national radio networks, a printing business, and a group of "alternative media," which includes some 600 community radio stations and 72 community TV stations.

New groups sponsor controversial ads

This critical panorama was complicated with the appearance of two previously unknown organizations--Asoesfuerzo and the Centro de Divulgacion del Conocimiento Economico para la Libertad La Libertad can refer to:
;Ecuador
*La Libertad, Guayas
*La Libertad Canton
;El Salvador
*La Libertad, La Libertad
*La Libertad Department
;Honduras
 (CEDICE)--which, with the backing of various communications media, launched a costly publicity campaign to defend private property.

The government said, "Those entities are using publicity spots to convince the public that there is a real threat in this area, which is deceptive because they do not specify how the threat against private property is being carried out."

Public Works public works
pl.n.
Construction projects, such as highways or dams, financed by public funds and constructed by a government for the benefit or use of the general public.

Noun 1.
 and Housing Minister and CONATEL director Diosdado Cabello Diosdado Cabello Rondón (born April 15, 1963) is a Venezuelan politician. He was appointed Vice President by President Hugo Chávez on January 13, 2002, replacing Adina Bastidas.  said that he would open an investigation because the origin of the money to pay for the spots is not known, which could "mean the presence of money laundering The process of taking the proceeds of criminal activity and making them appear legal.

Laundering allows criminals to transform illegally obtained gain into seemingly legitimate funds.
."

The ad in question ran 30 seconds and was titled, "For a country of proprietors." As the camera pans a series of nude bodies, an off-camera voice reads the words written on the screen. "How would you feel if they took away all your years of effort, if they took away your desires to get ahead? How would you feel if they took away your dreams for your children? How would you feel if they took away your future? The social property law takes what is yours. No to the Cuban law The substantive and procedural laws of Cuba were later based on the Spanish Civil laws and were influenced by the principles of Marxism-Leninism after that philosophy became the guiding force of government. . For a country of proprietors. CEDICE in freedom!"

When it refers to children and the future, the ad shows a backlit An LCD screen that has its own light source from the back of the screen, making the background brighter and characters appear sharper.  image of a pregnant woman protecting her womb with her hands.

"We cannot allow citizens to continue being taken in by these ads referring to children, which cause anguish, anxiety, fear, panic," said Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz, saying she would ask for a law punishing media crimes.

While the government applies sanctions and issues warnings, official Venezuelan TV stations--Venezolana de Television and Telesur--are being hit by frequent audio and video interference. Cabello said a repetition of these problems "will be interpreted as an aggression and will bring sanctions to the satellite-service providers for both television stations." Deputy Iris Varela spoke directly of "sabotage that also affects many radio stations in the country."

Mario Seijas, head of the Camara Venezolana de Television por Suscripcion, recognized the existence of the anomalies and promised "to take technical measures to repair the damage they are causing."

The problems at Telesur can have international ramifications ramifications nplAuswirkungen pl , as the network is a joint venture of the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba Bolivia is a municipality and city in the Ciego de Ávila Province of Cuba. It is located in the north-eastern part of the province, bordering the Bay of Jiguey and Cayo Romano. Demographics
In 2004, the municipality of Bolivia had a population of 16,612.
, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Besides a multinational Consejo de Administracion, Telesur has an advisory board made up of well-known intellectuals and personalities such as 1980 Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish and Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is the name of one of five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.  winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel Pe·rez Es·qui·vel   , Adolfo Born 1931.

Argentine civil rights leader. He won the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to promote human rights in Latin America.
 of Argentina, Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal Ernesto Cardenal Martínez (born January 20, 1925) is a Nicaraguan Catholic priest and was one of the most famous liberation theologians of the Nicaraguan Sandinista Regime, which he later renounced. He is also famous as a poet, and he still writes. , Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, Spanish historian and news chief of Le Monde Diplomatique This monthly magazine is not to be mistaken for the daily "Le Monde".
Le Monde diplomatique (nicknamed "Le Diplo" by its French readers) is a monthly publication offering analysis and opinion on politics, culture, and current affairs.
 Ignacio Ramonet, open-software pioneer Richard Stallman from the US, and US actor Danny Glover. (Sources: O Estado de Sao Paulo (Brazil), 06/21/09; Radio Nederland, 06/24/09; O Globo (Brazil), 06/25/09, 07/06/09; BBC BBC
 in full British Broadcasting Corp.

Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927.
 Mundo, 06/06-07/09, 06/13/09, 06/17/09. 06/21/09. 06/24/09, 06/26/09, 07/10/09; El Nuevo Herald El Nuevo Herald is a McClatchy newspaper published daily in Spanish in Miami, Florida, in the United States. The Herald's sister paper is The Miami Herald, also produced by the McClatchy Company.  (Miami), 06/21/09, 06/24/09, 06/26/09, 07/09-10/09; Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), 06/19/09, 06/24/09, 07/04/09, 07/12/09; El Nacional (Venezuela), 06/21-22/09, 06/28/09, 07/04/09, 07/09/09, 07/12/09; Associated Press, 06/24-25/09, 07/03/09, 07/09-11/09, 07/13/09; Agence France-Presse, 06/19/09, 06/24-25/09, 07/03/09, 07/14/09; El Universal (Venezuela), 06/22-23/09, 06/28/09, 07/03/09, 07/05/09, 07/08/09, 07/11/09, 07/15/09; ANSA ANSA - Advanced Network Systems Architecture , 06/21-22/09, 06/25/09, 07/04/09, 07/07/09, 07/10/09, 07/12/09, 07/14-16/09; Spanish news agency EFE EfE Environment for Europe (EU)
EFE Einstein Field Equations (general relativity)
EFE Early Fuel Evaporation (Automotive Emission Control)
EFE Endocardial Fibroelastosis
, 06/21-22/09, 06/24/09, 06/26/09, 06/29/09, 07/04/09, 07/07/09, 07/09/09, 07/14/09, 07/17/09)
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Publication:NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs
Date:Jul 24, 2009
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