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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Clueless and Dangerous

Our People's Chamber of Deputies, that is:
CARACAS, Jul 21 (IPS) - The Venezuelan Congress approved a resolution opposing a decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to finance radio and TV broadcasts to Venezuela with the aim of countering Telesur, a new pan-Latin American station.

Telesur, a Venezuelan government initiative undertaken in association with Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay, has already drawn the wrath of the United States even before it goes on the air this Sunday.

The U.S. lower house of Congress passed an amendment Wednesday "to initiate radio and television broadcasts that will provide a consistently accurate, objective, and comprehensive source of news to Venezuela" to counter Telesur's "anti-Americanism," in the words of Republican Rep. Connie Mack of Florida, who sponsored the amendment.

Telesur will begin to broadcast from Caracas on Jul. 24, the anniversary of the birth of South American independence leader Simón Bolívar.

The station's goal is to foment regional integration with newscasts, films, documentaries and music by Latin American and Caribbean producers, and to provide a counterweight to programming from the United States, like what is offered by CNN.

"It is a preposterous imperialist idea that should not surprise us because we know what the U.S. government is capable of," said Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, referring to the amendment. "There is nothing more dangerous than a desperate giant."

If the amendment makes it through the Senate and Washington tries to interfere with Venezuela's airwaves, "we will take measures to neutralise the attempt, and what we will have is a kind of electronic warfare," said the left-leaning leader.
Mack clearly knows nothing, probably less than nothing, about Venezuela. If he knew anything, he would know that almost all of the major media in Venezuela is controlled by opponents of Chavez. These papers and TV stations constantly run anti-Chavez screeds. Most of them are probably already funded in part by our tax dollars through such sham organizations as the National Endowment for Democracy. And Mack seems to think that we need some sort of "Radio Free Venezuela" beamed into a country that has a more vibrant and functioning democracy than our own, where the president takes the side of the poor majority. They already get CNN down there--how much more propaganda does Mack want?

The arrogance of this is both incredible and appalling. The Repugs, who bought, stole, lied and gerrymandered their way into power in this country, think that gives them the right to rule the world. Hugo Chavez is willing to stand up and tell them that it doesn't.

Ya basta.