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Venezuela's Last Opposition TV Owner Arrested

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the or-in-this-case-on-air dept.

Censorship 433

WrongSizeGlass writes "AP is reporting the owner of Venezuela's only remaining TV channel that takes a critical line against President Hugo Chavez was arrested Thursday. 'Guillermo Zuloaga, owner of Globovision, was arrested on a warrant for remarks that were deemed "offensive" to the president,' Attorney General Luisa Ortega said. This comes on the heels of last week's story titled Venezuela's Chavez To Limit Internet Freedom."

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433 comments

Uh oh (4, Insightful)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619448)

As bad as things were in Venezuela before this, now they've gotten much, much worse. Any chance of convincing some gray/black hats to strike a blow for decency and sanity, and hack Chavez's websites to portray him as a transvestigial equinophiliac paedo-cannibal?

anything that will make the common people laugh at him, and thereby undermine his social standing from within is just about the only hope Venezuela has left

Re:Uh oh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619576)

Agreed... th3j35t3r needs to learn some Spanish!

Re:Uh oh (1)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619598)

this only makes Hugo a step closer to his role model - president Lukaszenko of Belarus. He also closed all independent media - few years ago.

Re:Uh oh (4, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619610)

> Any chance of convincing some gray/black hats to strike a blow for decency
> and sanity, and hack Chavez's websites to portray him as a transvestigial
> equinophiliac paedo-cannibal?

> anything that will make the common people laugh at him...

Why do you imagine that would "make the common people laugh at him"? He'd successfully portray it as a CIA attack.

He's the Venezuelans' problem and only they can solve it. Either they will get rid of the kook or they won't.

Argh, you're right (3, Insightful)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619664)

He WOULD be successful in portraying something like that as a CIA attack. However, I believe being portrayed as a cross-dressing, child-eating, donkey-fucker would cause enough cognitive dissonance amongst the people of Venezuela that they'd be able to start looking at him objectively rather than subjectively.

You're also right that the Venezuelans are the only ones that can do something about him. When half the country supports him because he champions the poor at the cost of all else (because the Venezuelan elite betrayed the trust of the people over all), then that is an internal matter.

be nice to see that image though... maybe it could become the new goatse meme

Re:Argh, you're right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620142)

>You're also right that the Venezuelans are the only ones that can do something about him.

Well that's not true. They may be the only ones who SHOULD do something about him, or the only ones with a RIGHT to do something about him, but they are hardly the only ones who CAN.

Re:Argh, you're right (3, Informative)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620346)

"You're also right that the Venezuelans are the only ones that can do something about him."

Why didn't they kill him 18 yrs ago when he tried to assassinate the president? [wikipedia.org] He even said he "failed (at assassination) for now". But instead of execution, he was released two years later and made president 4 years after that?? We might as well make John Hinckley the next US President [wikipedia.org]

Re:Argh, you're right (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620498)

Maybe because the president he was trying to get rid of was an even worse guy?
I think Chavez is a nutbag, but Perez was horrible. Shit that guy used their military on protesters after he sold out to the IMF.

Re:Uh oh (2, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619756)

Sadly the CIA gave him that sway when they unsuccessfully tried to launch a coup against him in 2002 after he nationalized oil production. Very similar to what happened the coup against Mohommad Mossadegh in Iran in the 1950's. The downside is we got caught with our hand in the cookie jar this time around, and Chavez has been very carte blanche about dragging it out every time anything critical of him comes out. Its only gotten worse as Chavez has gotten... umm... how to put it nicely... battier? Its a shame, he was a cool leader when he began; and had a number of revolutionary ideas (even if he completely understood the history of Simon Bolivar).

Re:Uh oh (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619802)

So that was supposed to say misunderstood. My bad.

Re:Uh oh (5, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620000)

I don't know that he can last too much longer. Even the poor are starting to turn against him. His attempt a couple of years ago to amend the constitution to allow him to run for president forever turned out to be an embarrassing failure, though he handled it with as much dignity as he has anything else. Oil revenues have declined as output has slowed, in part because much of Venezuela's oil is heavy and difficult to extract, and the expertise to do so was largely provided by foreign companies. When he nationalized the oil industry there, many of those experts told him to go pound sand when he asked for assistance. The electricity grid has declined in reliability as well, and the money just isn't there to fix it (courtesy of the declining oil production).

That Venezuela provides discounted or free oil to certain other nations does not help the fiscal line, nor does the refusal (or perhaps political inability) to charge market rates for petroleum products at home, which results in gasoline that costs a tenth of what it does elsewhere in the world, something that Venezuelans see basically as their right as an oil-producing nation.

He's also warned of "defensive actions" against Colombia (a nation that is not even close to being able to stage a successful attack on a country like Venezuela) on a couple of occasions, and has modernized the military. It would not surprise me at all to see them fighting in the next few years, though, and I will laugh if Venezuela's modern but inexperienced army gets their heads handed to them by the lesser-equipped but far more combat-experienced Colombian army.

Then again, I said that he couldn't possible last a few years ago when the troubles began. A fragmented opposition that can't get a basic unified message together combined with further limited opportunities to get the message out and Chavez's persistent presence on TV for hours on end mean that Chavez will continue to hold the edge for some time to come.

Re:Uh oh (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620538)

If Venezuela were to attack Columbia, Columbia would wipe the floor with Venezuela.

Re:Uh oh (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620370)

Its only gotten worse as Chavez has gotten... umm... how to put it nicely... battier? Its a shame, he was a cool leader when he began; and had a number of revolutionary ideas

The same has been said about Mugabe.

I suppose it's as Buddha said: you either die the hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

Re:Uh oh (0)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620182)

He's the Venezuelans' problem and only they can solve it.

Actually, for a lot of Venezuelans, Chavez was the solution.

Re:Uh oh (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619666)

anything that will make the common people laugh at him, and thereby undermine his social standing from within is just about the only hope Venezuela has left

Ha! You think common people have the internet in Venezuela?

White-collar, internet posting first-worlders are a global minority numerically.

Re:Uh oh (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620128)

I'm afraid the US is heading down this same path.

Maybe not as directly or forcefully..but in a more subliminal way to silent opposition in the US. Efforts are on to try to put a lid on talk radio [wnd.com] .

I'm still trying to figure out the position that Mark Lloyd holds.."Chief Diversity Officer"? Is this analagous to the Ministry of Truth?

Hell, Mark seems to actually appreciate what Hugo Chavez has done [youtube.com] . And this guy is high up at the FCC??

Re:Uh oh (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620542)

When you link to WND you flag yourself as a nutjob.

Re:Uh oh (2, Interesting)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620232)

Actually, Chavez has done quite alot to give a voice and financial help to the struggling poor and indigenous people of Venezuela. This doesn't excuse his campaign against free speach and democracy in his country, but you have to understand the situation on the ground there. Under previous regimes only the rich, white upper class had anything to say. Poor people were working under very bad conditions and had noone to speak for them. Then there's the fact that the U.S. staged a coup attempt against Chavez shortly after he was democratically voted into power.

So what Chavez is doing lately certainly isn't the right thing, but I can understand why he is prejudiced and very suspicious of the establishment and the rich folks controlling the media in his country.

TV owner vs. TV station owner (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619488)

When I first read this, I imagined them breaking down someones front door because the owned a TV and may watched a program critical of Hugo Chavez.

Not last... (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619496)

This person is the last in line for people with a voice, next up all the little people. A dirty war with lots of "disappeared."

I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (4, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619502)

I've got no beef with socialism in general, but what Chavez is doing isn't socialism. I'm perpetually annoyed by socialism supporters like Sean Penn [sistertoldjah.com] who defend Chavez, claiming he is not a dictator. I'm sorry, but taking over the media, rewriting the constitution to remove term limits so he can stay in power indefinitely [washingtonpost.com] and possibly attempting to assassinate the democratically elected president of a neighboring country (see the first link) are not the actions of a democratic leader. Combined with the allegations of vote fraud and voter suppression in opposition neighborhoods, the man has crossed that line that divides "pompous but legitimate ruler" from "dictator in all but name."

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619564)

and possibly attempting to assassinate the democratically elected president of a neighboring country (see the first link) are not the actions of a democratic leader.

That depends on the will of the people, doesn't it?

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619844)

I honestly don't understand why I was modded "offtopic".

Take for example, either Barack Obama or Geroge Bush. They were democratically elected presidents of the United States.

Lets say that the people of the United States wanted the democratically elected President of another country (i.e. Iraq, Iran) assassinated. In a democracy, the government is either controlled by the people or representatives of the people. It would be the duty of the democratically elected government to execute the will of the people. Does it matter how the target to-be-executed leader was elected? No. They could be a democracy. They could be an autocracy. They could be an oligarchy. It doesn't matter. The whole goal of a democracy is to represent the will of the people.

Perhaps whoever modded me off-topic perceives that I agree with Chavez' goals. That is wholly wrong. I'm a die-hard libertarian. But one must acknowledge that governments often:

a. do assassinations
b. do them on the will of the people

If the people want someone dead in a democracy, that's that. It isn't contrary the the ideology of democracy. On the opposite, it affirms what the democratic process is all about.

My question simply was directed to bring this point across.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620042)

If the people want someone dead in a democracy, that's that. It isn't contrary the the ideology of democracy. On the opposite, it affirms what the democratic process is all about.

No. That's not that. That's not democracy. That's mob rule. That's why we have the rule of law. Due process, and the rights of the minority.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620198)

A Democracy is mob rule, we (in the USA) live in a representative republic, not a democracy.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (1, Funny)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620550)

Which is why the US has never been able to enslave or discriminate against minorities at the will of the majority...

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620556)

Look up the definition of "republic", "democracy", and "representative government." The do us all a favor and give yourself a big face palm. We live in a representative democracy, that's a democracy and a republic (non exclusive things). There's also direct democracy, aka "mob" rule.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (5, Insightful)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619628)

having lived behind the iron courtain, I could say that socialism or communism leaders never really cared about own ideology. What was important was that the masses should believe in ideology and obey. Have you read the G. Orwell's "Animal Farm" ? Shows nicely how this happened.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619936)

"having lived behind the iron courtain, I could say that socialism or communism leaders never really cared about own ideology."

You are mistaking socialism/communism for dictatorship/totalitarianism.
It's a common mistake.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (3, Insightful)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619964)

ok, if you're keeping to the literal meaning of communism, then probably no state has even implemented it.
On the other hand if you read Marx, you may find that besides describing ideal 'utopia' society, he also gave hints on the how leaders may rule masses, which had nothing to do with "communism, as advertised" :-)

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620220)

You are mistaking socialism/communism for dictatorship/totalitarianism.
It's a common mistake.

Produce a list with two columns. In the first put all of the socialist/communist countries that turned to dictatorship/totalitarianism. In the second, all socialist/communist countries that managed to avoid dictatorship/totalitarianism.

But forget history, in your socialist/communist country, you would rule benignly and everything would be kittens and marshmallows.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (1, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620364)

Technically, Britain is pretty darn socialist. And Chile turned totalitarian because the legitimately elected socialist government was overthrown by the military. Communism is impractical, yes, but socialism is fine in moderation. Don't conflate the two.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (5, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620320)

You are mistaking socialism/communism for dictatorship/totalitarianism

Not really. Only a totalitarian state can force productive people to be slaves to non-productive people. The two modes are part and parcel of the whole.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620382)

Capitalism does that too. I know plenty of execs that don't do jack.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (1, Insightful)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620480)

The difference is that people willingly work for their bosses and they can always get a different job or just quit. In a socialist nation, you have no choice.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620470)

"having lived behind the iron courtain, I could say that socialism or communism leaders never really cared about own ideology."

You are mistaking socialism/communism for dictatorship/totalitarianism.
It's a common mistake.

Well it's awfully damn convienient that whenever someone starts a socialist or communist government, they always happen to end up a dictator. So they've killed and starved perhaps hundreds of millions over the past century, but hey, they just didn't do it right, is that it? Lets give 'em another chance?

They always turn out to be dictators because, surprise surprise, socialism and communism are ripe for that kind of system. If you can declare things like property rights null and void "for the people", then there's nothing that you cant take or abolish.... for the people, of course.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620512)

Yeah, just look at how terrible life is in those socialist Scandinavian countries.

I have to wonder (1, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620014)

if we delude ourselves in thinking the other side of the iron curtain is any better.

Re:I have to wonder (1)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620170)

if we delude ourselves in thinking the other side of the iron curtain is any better.

to the bitter surprise of the inhabitants of the Central Europe - it isn't (if the politicians "fair play" is regarded).
However, at least life is more colorful after the change, and one can freely travel without passport not only to another town, but also within EU(Schengen) borders :-) One could even move to any other place in the world without begging the passport office to issue document for you.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (1, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620428)

"What was important was that the masses should believe in ideology and obey."

You mean like americans?

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619630)

Oh Christ, Penn's off his meds again? I mean seriously - he should be wearing a jacket with sleeves that wrap all the way around and tie at the back.

Look at the bright side though: the best supporter Chavez can rustle up is Penn. I don't see his policies sweeping the free world any time soon.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (4, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620166)

Look at the bright side though: the best supporter Chavez can rustle up is Penn. I don't see his policies sweeping the free world any time soon.

Chavez has supporters right in the Obama administration. One is Obamas' "Diversity Czar" Mark Lloyd at the FCC. Talk about a scary scenario, having a guy like Lloyd in a position of power over the nations' communications!

Here's a quote from Mark Lloyd, speaking at the June 10, 2008 National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR)in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

"In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution - a democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.

The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled - worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government - worked to oust him. But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.

-And we've had complaints about this ever since."

You can see the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9ffAP5ixhg [youtube.com]

Apparently Chavez' policies are already "sweeping the free world" in the form of the Obama administration, since this statement from Lloyd hasn't been disavowed by anyone in the administration.

Anyone who voices dissent with Obama administration policies on radio/TV and even on the internet should be prepared. There will be a campaign launched to demonize you, painting you as "dangerous" and "promoting violence" and attempting to smear you by conflating voicing your dissent with a few nutjobs (which exist on both sides) who may commit some violent act. You will be fined, taxed, audited, and they'll ultimately will shut you down & silence you if they can.

A Brave New World, indeed!

Strat

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0, Flamebait)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620272)

Anyone who voices dissent with Obama administration policies on radio/TV and even on the internet should be prepared. There will be a campaign launched to demonize you, painting you as "dangerous" and "promoting violence" and attempting to smear you by conflating voicing your dissent with a few nutjobs (which exist on both sides) who may commit some violent act.

That's not entirely unfair.

I mean, if you tell people often enough that Obama is just the same as Hitler and he'll take away all your freedom if he isn't stopped, and someone who watched/listened to your show tries to shoot him, what responsibility do you bear for that? It's not 100%, it's not even over 50%, but it's sure as hell not 0% either.

Alternate non-hypothetical example: Bill O'Reilly and the murder of George Tiller.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619774)

"Fourteen months after his first attempt failed, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez won a referendum Sunday to eliminate term limits"

As the article you linked points out, there was a referendum.

When right-wing US friend Uribe in Columbia tries the same thing, there's complete silence about it in the mainstream media. Who's biased which way now?

Is Colombia's Uribe pulling a Chávez on term limits?
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2009/0902/p06s05-woam.html [csmonitor.com]

"Combined with the allegations of vote fraud and voter suppression in opposition neighborhoods, the man has crossed that line that divides "pompous but legitimate ruler" from "dictator in all but name.""

Ah yes, because when it comes to vilifying a left-wing government, allegations are evidence.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619840)

I'm sorry, but taking over the media, rewriting the constitution to remove term limits so he can stay in power indefinitely and possibly attempting to assassinate the democratically elected president of a neighboring country (see the first link) are not the actions of a democratic leader.

Whereas letting the media write the Law, being able to get reelected indefinitely in the first place or having a fucking king, invading other countries and executing their leaders after a bullshit trial, or organizing coups in all of Latin America because their democratic leaders wanted to send poor children to school are things democratic leaders do, especially in your country,

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619908)

I visited Venezuela in 2005. There was definitely some opposition towards Chavez, but for the most part, the average person really likes him. He's brought good health care, and other programs very popular with the poor to Venezuela. The most interesting thing I saw was a building that had some anti-chavez graffiti one night, and the next day it was covered up with a large graffiti style picture of a nature scene.

I talked to a member of the opposition party. For the most part, the people who didn't like Chavez were the ones who had money. The poor masses liked the social programs he had going, however there's no good way to gauge what level of dissent there really is, because of things like the incident I described above. Personally, I think it will take a large amount of external pressure, or some major upheaval within the country before the status quo is upturned. Since the government controls 90% of the oil (and therefore the biggest source of wealth in the country), change is improbable.

 

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620016)

Bullshit. The country has been mismanaged to the hilt, and all of the people are coming around to that. Do you think the poor appreciate the war zone-like conditions there? I live 15 miles from Venezuela and I wouldn't even consider going there. It's just too dangerous. The new rich elite Chavistas (see Animal Farm for an explanation of how this works) are the only people doing well in the new Venezuela.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (1)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620082)

please note, that as a foreigner/stranger you may have been treated with caution and suspicion.
Not every society is used to being straight-forward and truth-speaking :-)

I'm not saying that citizens of Venezueal are liars.

I'm just saying, that when you live in more and more controlled state (perhaps not yet totalitarian, but on the way), you may not want to criticize the goverment and your belived great leader, because God knows if what you reveal to the stranger won't reach the officials. He might be a spy, or a state security service agent.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620010)

I've got no beef with socialism in general, but what Chavez is doing isn't socialism. I'm perpetually annoyed by socialism supporters like Sean Penn [sistertoldjah.com] who defend Chavez, claiming he is not a dictator. I'm sorry, but taking over the media, rewriting the constitution to remove term limits so he can stay in power indefinitely [washingtonpost.com] and possibly attempting to assassinate the democratically elected president of a neighboring country (see the first link) are not the actions of a democratic leader. Combined with the allegations of vote fraud and voter suppression in opposition neighborhoods, the man has crossed that line that divides "pompous but legitimate ruler" from "dictator in all but name."

Chavez is the biggest coward the world has as a leader of a country. Ok, maybe there are others who are worse. I just cannot think of any in present time. Maybe Iran's jack#ss.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (2, Insightful)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620026)

Well in all honesty, he's not quite a dictator, since there still are binding elections, which he does occasionally lose [npr.org] . Now that doesn't mean he doesn't want to be a dictator. He's certainly setting himself up as one, and his actions clearly show that he wants no opposition to his rule. Keep in mind, Hugo Chavez came to (inter)national attention during the failed 1992 coup against Pérez [wikipedia.org] .

What is really interesting is that Venezuela is falling apart (perhaps most bizarrely having massive blackouts in an OPEC country) because he placed political ideology above practical needs, and got predictable results.

Is he a dictator? I think he's worse than that. He's a pudgy tin horn wannabe dictator, that revels in the trying externalizing his own short comings on the yanqis. He's a threat to no one except perhaps his own people, and maybe not even to them beyond an economic threat.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (5, Funny)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620336)

there was joke told in central Europe (formet soviet satellites):

introduce socialism in countries in the Sahara desert area, and in 3 years they will be shortages of sand.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0, Troll)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620064)

What are you talking about? This was the Fox News channel of Venezuela. I applaud their effort to get rid of the anti-progressive government ideas. They need to do the same thing to Fox News here. Fucking right wing republican morons. We tried freedom, it didn't work, move on.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620356)

What are you talking about? This was the CNN channel of Venezuela. I applaud their effort to get rid of the progressive government ideas. They need to do the same thing to CNN here. Fucking left wing democrat morons. We tried socialism, it didn't work, move on.

Yep, I agree with you 100%.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620596)

So its OK to stifle speech if its not speech you like?

Take Limbaugh and Beck out back and shoot them, or just sentence them to reeducation somewhere?

I like this, at the national level you banish the Republicans while in conservative states and counties the liberals will get muted. Brilliant plan.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0, Offtopic)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620240)

"Combined with the allegations of vote fraud and voter suppression in opposition neighborhoods"

Except lets not mention the history of plunder of south america by americans and various peoples of the world shall we? Nor the constant lies and misinformation the US constantly puts out about Venezuela.

http://www.amazon.com/Open-Veins-Latin-America-Centuries/dp/0853459908/ [amazon.com]

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620374)

the man has crossed that line that divides "pompous but legitimate ruler" from "dictator in all but name."

He is the sort of "dictator" that happens to get elected again and again. If lack of term limits makes you a dictator, then surely Helmut Kohl, who ruled Germany from 1982 to 1998, was also a dictator, eh? As your own source about him "rewriting the constitution" makes clear, any change to the constitution of Venezuela has to be approved by referendum. "Dictator in all but name" my ass, they don't even have the death penalty in Venezuela. You know what tough internet laws were enacted after he complained about lies on blogs and Twitter? None. Nothing happened. The word "pompous" fits the bill. It also fits for people who call anybody whom they don't like a dictator. But he is reeeeally annoying, no? The Emmanuel Goldstein of US TV.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620422)

"I've got no beef with socialism in general, but what Chavez is doing isn't socialism."

I really get tired of hearing this old canard... "This isn't really socialism. Socialism really has never been tried". Bunk. This is exactly where socialism goes. There's always people that refuse to play along, and this is what happens to them.

Re:I'm still appalled that anyone defends Chavez (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620552)

Yeah, look at the socialist hellholes those Scandinavian nations are. Such terrible places.

Chilling thought (3, Interesting)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619506)

It disturbs me greatly that a man like this, and Fidel Castro regularly have been praising the direction our country is heading. I hope this TV owner finds a way to get out of this.

Re:Chilling thought (1)

chstwnd (1751702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619622)

you would think that would be a red flag to all the Obama/Pelosi supporters, huh?

Re:Chilling thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619778)

No, we usually don't give much credence to people like Chavez. Maybe you should too.

Re:Chilling thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619806)

fucking idiot.

Re:Chilling thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619814)

"you would think that would be a red flag to all the Obama/Pelosi supporters, huh?"

Stopped clock, etc.

I'm more frightened when the Republicans congratulate Obama on any issue.

Re:Chilling thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619894)

Well, Goebbels and Hitler would have approved of Fox News and the teabaggers / brownshirts. Now what, douchington?

Re:Chilling thought (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619632)

It disturbs me greatly that a man like this, and Fidel Castro regularly have been praising the direction our country is heading.

Yes, and when the devil says that 2+2=4, it has to be wrong. If you do the exact opposite of what certain people tell you to do, you're letting them influence you just as much as if you followed exactly what they tell you to do. The only way to deal with people like that is to ignore their populist comments.

Re:Chilling thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620518)

"The only way to deal with people like that is to ignore their POPULIST comments."

Well, given that every poll has more opposition that support for the recent Heathcare legislation, I'd have to say it wasn't populist.

Re:Chilling thought (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619636)

They do that to piss off Joe Sixpack Americans. Way to fall for it...

Re:Chilling thought (2, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619654)

Since this is Slashdot, I'm assuming "our country" is the United States. If not, I apologize.

The only example which I found on a Google search was one from today, when Fidel Castro praised the new US Health care plan [washingtonpost.com] . I hardly would call that "praising the direction our country is heading" - are there any other examples. Everything else I found was generally negative.

Well, (1)

EldestPort (1693956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619538)

There you go, Sean Penn.

Re:Well, (1, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620366)

There you go, Sean Penn.

You make it sound like this would be some sort of "I told you so" moment for him. It's not. People like him know exactly what guys like Chavez are all about. Penn also wants a society ruled by Smart Lefties, since he's sure that he and the others know what's best. That allows him to wash his hands of all of the corruption, back room deals, unconstitutional compulsion and skullduggery that it takes to make those arrangements. You know, kind of like we just saw happen in the US congress over the weekend.

First step in gaining complete control (2, Insightful)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619552)

Control the information.

You can own the media markets outright (Italy's Berlusconi), or, as Chavez and countless others before him did, simply arrest them.

Fat lotta good the UN does on either account...

Re:First step in gaining complete control (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619698)

Fat lotta good the UN does on either account...

Why would the UN care about media control within a country?

The UN is primarily an organization for international cooperation and human rights. Only in rare cases does the UN intervene (civil war).

Re:First step in gaining complete control (2, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619882)

The UN is primarily an organization for international cooperation and human rights.

Forcibly silencing opposition media works against international cooperation by preventing citizens from hearing about anything perceived as "negative" from other nations. As for human rights, what exactly do you consider a human right, if you don't believe that should include the right to speak your views openly without fear of imprisonment?

Boy do I feel stupid (2, Insightful)

Jeff-reyy (1768222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619624)

I've been posting lots of melodramatic stuff online about Obama being a usurper and how he's going to throw conservatives in gulags, but now I see how good I've actually got it. Wow.

Re:Boy do I feel stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619824)

I've been posting lots of melodramatic stuff online about Obama being a usurper and how he's going to throw conservatives in gulags, but now I see how good I've actually got it. Wow.

Yeah, in Obama's gulags you'll at least get health care!

Re:Boy do I feel stupid (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620038)

Be easy on the US politicians. They're still learning.

Re:Boy do I feel stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620312)

come on, GWB was a fast learner here. He was just not fast enough, but I'm sure his grandson will do it right one day (ie absolute power during his first term)

Re:Boy do I feel stupid (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620434)

GULAG is an abbreviation, like FBI. You would not say "Then the FBIs came after him." Would you?

MSNBC Host: Time For "Socialism" In Talk Radio (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619642)

linky [realclearpolitics.com]

Fairing everything is unnecessarily hard because the right wing still has air time. A few more major policy enactments and they'll be ready to revisit the Fairness Doctrine in the US.

Lordy lord, it's not that bad (1, Insightful)

vandan (151516) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619760)

These TV station smart-asses have been openly advocating for Chavez to be assassinated. I'm sure if some 'independent' TV station started calling for President Obama's assassination, there would be some arrests over that too.

The problem is that Chavez is trying to implement some real social reforms, but the capitalists would very much prefer that not to happen. One of their weapons in the battle is these 'independent' TV stations, that are about as independent as Fox News.

Good riddance I say. There are enough far-right freak-shows with access to mass media already. Time to claw things back and give Chavez a chance to reform the country, like a majority of the population say they want.

Re:Lordy lord, it's not that bad (1)

Lunatrik (1136121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619888)

Citation needed, really. I WANT to believe you and find this hard to stomach!

If anyone has a cite for this it would be appreciated.

Put down your bong.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619924)

So where does eliminating term limits so he will be in power forever fit into those "real social reforms"? I think you should move there to help him out.

Re:Lordy lord, it's not that bad (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619942)

Look if Chavez can jail opponents arbitrarily, then they should be able to kill Chavez any time they feel like it. That's only fair when law means only what the strong want it to mean.

Re:Lordy lord, it's not that bad (1, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620454)

You mean like gitmo?

Re:Lordy lord, it's not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619962)

Ahh yes, media reform as part of social reforms. Can't have that ugly capitalist controlled media getting in your way.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/03/24/steve-forbes-venezuela-hugo-chavez-media-robert-mcchesney-free-press/

Re:Lordy lord, it's not that bad (-1, Flamebait)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620088)

I'm sure if some 'independent' TV station started calling for President Obama's assassination, there would be some arrests over that too.

I take it you haven't watched Fox News very much.

Re:Lordy lord, it's not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620092)

You are a loon. Do you have any idea what is going on in Venezuela? Do you?! You are blind if you think what Chavez is doing at any level is "good".

Re:Lordy lord, it's not that bad (5, Informative)

Eponymous Bastard (1143615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620264)

Actually, the venezuelan government has been trying to close Globovision for a while now, and one of the biggest problems is that they have NEVER advocated any kind of violence against the government, be it the president or anyone else. It would cost too much international support for them to close another oposition TV station without a good reason.

The other two big independent TV stations have been scared off enough that they don't dare play anything political. The only other one is VTV, the government's channel (and I don't mean Bush' Fox, I mean wholly owned by the government). They do play show like "La Hojilla" (The razor blade) that openly advocated a few times killing oposition as a legitimate means of defending "the revolution".

Not to mention Chavez himself sometimes applauding relatively violent acts in his defense.

Now, I won't say that Globovision is fair and balanced, but as far as I can tell they never outright lied about anything. I understand Fox news to be more radical and distorting than Globovision and yet I don't see the Fox owners being hounded for years and finally arrested like Zuloaga.

FWIW, it seems Zuloaga was released after appearing in court [noticias24.com] , with a prohibition against leaving the country. We'll see whether he'll fold and close Globovision or be thrown in jail on trumped up charges.

Time to claw things back and give Chavez a chance to reform the country, like a majority of the population say they want.

Disclaimer on my stance on the government: Chavez has been in power for 10 years. He's changed the constitution multiple times, tried out different reforms all while oil was at an all time high and money was flowing into the country like crazy. He's had a BIG chance to reform the country and It's all been a failure. Lately all he's doing helps the government more than the people.

Hell, we even have rolling blackouts now, when we used to export electricity. This is a situation that was predicted over a year ago, but 10 years of ignoring the power infrastructure have left its mark, and yet he blames it all on el niño and the previous governments.

If you want change, don't prop up the same old government. If you're a socialist, elect a different socialist president. If you're a capitalist, same thing. There's no reason to maintain Chavez in power for another 50 years.

Re:Lordy lord, it's not that bad (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620464)

he other two big independent TV stations have been scared off enough that they don't dare play anything political. The only other one is VTV, the government's channel (and I don't mean Bush' Fox, I mean wholly owned by the government). They do play show like "La Hojilla" (The razor blade) that openly advocated a few times killing oposition as a legitimate means of defending "the revolution".

We had that too, it was called 24.

Since when..? (1)

dragisha (788) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619808)

..is TV considered "online"?

Is it really something for "Your Rights Online" or just simple /.'s HR activism? Some kind of tax incentive like when movie displays US flag? :)

Zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619950)

Venezuela would be a paradise for fucking socialist linux zealots. Long live for this troll...!!!

The place of the media in modern societies (1)

goruka (1721094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31619954)

The place of the media, in modern societies, hasn't been resolved yet. Mass media in this day and age has so much reach that it can cause a revolt or, at much, change the outcome of any democratic election. This is dangerous for any government, and specially for governments of developing nations, whose mass media can be easily owned by foreign capitals/countries with an eye for the local resources.
Venezuela is definitely a nation like that, and after he nationalized oil (which was pretty much being looted for pennies by foreign companies), mass media and even factions of the military launched an all out offensive against the government.
What we are seeing is pretty much that Chavez has fed up with mass media controlled by foreign interests and decided to close it down, given it was dangerous for his government. Did he have an alternative?
Bottom line is that:
1) Freedom of press is dangerous for any country in the development world, given how easy it can serve foreign interests from developed countries
2) Government intervention of the media is seen as something wrong and antidemocratic, going against free speech (even though it's only the speech of those who own the media).
So, in the best scenario, governments just negotiate favorable deals with the media, in the worst case the media can destroy a government.
In the end, the mass media itself just becomes a tool used by large economic groups to threaten governments.

Thanks to the US Supreme Court... (2, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620070)

Thanks to to recent US Supreme Court ruling removing limits on corporate spending on politics, Hugo Chavez could easily funnel funds into the US to influence the political process. The same goes for China or Saudi Arabia or Libya or ???

It follows the classic Slashdot 3 Step Plan:

1. Acquire US corporation with overseas branches (Bahamas, anyone).

2. Transfer funds to US, make contributions, buy political advertising, etc.

3. Profit! In this case profit equals changing US behavior.

This is such a new ruling that the practical limits have not been tested in court. Even so, current law makes it difficult to find out who is really behind much existing political funding. And if you are willing to lie, it is even easier.

And if you don't think that money buys political influence, just look at the record breaking spending in the California governs race: http://www.kcbs.com/localnews/Spending-Soars-in-CA-Governor-s-Race/6639828 [kcbs.com]

The movement is reshaping the way elections are waged in trendsetting California while offering a glimpse into America's future after the U.S. Supreme Court in January gave corporations and unions new freedom to spend on many campaigns.

...

And in recent years, California has seen a surge in spending by Indian tribes, companies and labor groups trying to elect friendly candidates to the Legislature, sometimes in amounts that dwarf spending by candidate campaigns.

"Campaigns, particularly for governor and U.S. Senate, are not going to get waged between candidate A and candidate B," said Bill Carrick, a Los Angeles-based Democratic consultant with decades of experience in state and national politics.

"There will be all these satellite, independent campaigns that might have a more profound effect on the campaign than the candidates."

This is bad enough already. Imagine how i will be with foreign interests footing the bills...

holier than thou are we? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620072)

If you think there are real freedom of speech in the west, then you are sadly mistaken.

Chavez and oBama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620140)

I promise you, oBama and Chavez are more alike than most now know! Whether you agree or not, remember this statement! I also predicted in 1978 that GM would go bankrupt. I even wrote the president of GM thirty years ago and told him that I would see GM bankrupt in my life time. Then thirty years later (last year), I wrote the current president of GM and said, I told you so! lol I only tell you this so that you won't completely discard my statement about oBama and Chavez.

Screaming Recal Cancer (1)

elkto (558121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620360)

Screaming Rectal Cancer, Screaming Rectal Cancer for all of you....humph...

bzzt (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620486)

It would be helpful to know that although those tv stations were directly linked to [mondediplo.com] the 2002 coup [guardian.co.uk] Chavez had not gone after them at the time.

I would also like to inform me about another dictator that has gained 70% of the votes at the elections that the US said that were 100% legitimate,or another dictator that has eliminated iliteracy [venezuelas...ity.org.uk] in his country, that has brought cheap sate food shops [rnv.gov.ve] to the starving from free market people thus eliminating hunger, and has provided the poorest with free quality healthcare [thirdworldtraveler.com] .

in before all the ethnic chauvinists (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620506)

and tribal chest thumpers:

yes, the usa horribly manipulated regimes in central and south america for decades, in the cold war and in the colonial era before

having said that, that doesn't mean you have to reflexively defend a gasbag like chavez

or, when chavez does something heinous like this, that you have to wag your finger and say "yeah but the usa..."

yeah but the usa what? chavez is an asshole. this fact exists independently of anything the usa ever did or is doing

look: hating the usa does not automatically make you a defender of a petrol funded cult of personality, or at least it shouldn't

conversely, hating chavez does not automatically make you an american imperialist. so if someone criticizes chavez, that opinion might actually be issued by someone who is not a neoimperialist american scumbag. imagine fucking that! so if you hear criticism of chavez, and you go "typical american..." THEN YOU ARE THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM. what if a brazilian said the same words? are they any more valid or invalid criticisms of chavez?

can some of you please drop the fucking false dichotomies? if chavez acts like an asshole, THE USA IS COMPLETELY BESIDES THE FUCKING POINT

the world isn't binary, its actually quite nuanced, and its actually possible for you to criticize the venezuela AND the usa, at the same time, for different and/ or related reasons. i promise: no cognitive dissonance will result

real life is NOT partisanship, real life is not a soccer game/ futbol game. or at least it shouldn't be, although it often is, falsely and derivatively, amongst the hopelessly propagandized and/ or low iq

It's 2001 again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31620530)

I remember YRO stories about Afghanistan were intensifying before 9/11. I wonder what will be the event that precludes US attack on Venezuela, given that we are being brainwashed to accept it.

The Next Step (3, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31620564)

Talking smack about the USA is only going to get him so far as the standard of living declines. Then he's got to attack his neighbors (even more). That's if he lives . . .

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