Video, courtesy of Aporrea and VTV (the Venezuelan government channel.)
Here, Chavecito addresses a military gathering about the fact that coup-supporting channel RCTV (Radio Caracas Television) is facing loss of its broadcast licence for its role in the coup of 2002. (Story here.)
Despite what the opposition claims, though, this is NOT an attack on freedom of expression. Not one reporter has been jailed in Venezuela since Chavecito came to power. At most, he is working to bring Venezuela’s libel laws in line with those of the rest of the developed world. But the private media have indulged shamelessly in the “freedom” to lie to their audiences and readers, and fomenting civil unrest. Consider this yet another chapter in their sordid saga.
RCTV, like all the private mainstream media, was actively treasonous, calling for an illegal lockout at PDVSA, the national oil company. It was also one of several opposition-owned stations that urged people to turn out against Chavez in April 2002, the better for opposition snipers to kill them. It also broadcast false information during the coup, attempting to legitimize the illegitimate. RCTV was so deeply instrumental that the coup plotters even thanked it on the air, by name, for its part. Then, when the coup collapsed, it refused to broadcast any news at all. The viewing audience was denied all information by order of the Carmona dictatorship and its US backers. Instead, cartoons were the order of the day.
RCTV’s antics so disgusted its news director, Andres Izarra, that he resigned. Izarra was out of work for some time, but ultimately got the last laugh–he’s now working for Telesur, the pan-South American progressive news channel. I’d say he upgraded his resume rather nicely. See what happens when you have principles?
Meanwhile, looks like Chavecito will be laughing last in his own battle with the lying liars of RCTV. And, as with all aspects of the Bolivarian Revolution, this one too will be democratic, principled and lawful. Which is more than anyone can say for the opposition’s various unentertaining song-and-dance numbers.