From International Herald-Tribune
CARACAS, Venezuela: An international press-freedom group expressed concern Tuesday over suggestions by President Hugo Chavez’s government that it may revoke the broadcast license of an opposition-aligned TV station.
Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that if the government is threatening to take action against private broadcaster Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV, “because it is an opposition network, then it is clearly a violation of editorial diversity.”
Concessions held by some privately owned TV networks expire early next year, and Chavez during his recent campaign for re-election backed holding a national referendum on whether they should be renewed.
Reporters Without Borders said it was inappropriate to decide the future of the private broadcaster by referendum since RCTV’s role as a media organization is not a question of governance.
“We call on the Venezuelan government to review its position,” it said.
The former Venezuelan representative to Transparency International has published a paper at Cato on how corruption is now rife in Venezuela. Some quotes:
The state-owned oil company ceased publishing its consolidated annual financial statements in 2003, and Chávez has created new state-run financial institutions, whose operations are also opaque, that spend funds at the discretion of the executive.
Corruption now permeates all levels of Venezuelan society. Bureaucrats now rarely follow existing bidding regulations, and ordinary citizens must pay bribes to accomplish bureaucratic transactions and have to suffer rampant neglect of basic government services. All this has been encouraged by a general environment of impunity: officers implicated in major corruption scandals have sometimes been removed from their posts, but they have not otherwise been held legally accountable.
According to the Venezuelan Central Bank, about $22.5 billion has been transferred to accounts abroad by the Chávez government since 2004. About $12 billion of that amount remains unaccounted for.
New Zeal Western leftists idolise this thug. As Chavez consolidates his power and his Cuban trained secret police become more and more repressive, the true nature of “Chavism” will become apparent.
The Western left has consistently lionised murderers and tyrants, from Lenin and Stalin, to Mao, Pol Pot and Hoxha.
When will they wake up to Chavez? When will they discard him like the rest? Who will they brownnose next?