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Venezuela's Contrarian TV Station Survives on YouTube

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the politics-plus-interweb dept.

Television 457

carlos_J writes "Ars Technica is running a story about RCTV, a Venezuelan television station whose broadcast license was refused renewal by the government. In response, the station turned to YouTube to get its message out. Says Ars, 'El Observador clips have been seen 175,000 times since May 28, and the channel is currently the most-subscribed channel of the week. While putting the station's shows on YouTube is an excellent idea, YouTube still lacks anything near the reach of over-the-air broadcasts. But the use of the site to avoid censorship is growing, and it's not hard to imagine a day in the near future when the site (or sites like it) becomes as essential as local TV stations. As that happens, YouTube will come into even more conflicts with governments that have an interest in controlling what their citizens see, It's already happening--Thailand's king, for instance, has a thing for iPods but isn't too keen on YouTube. Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? '"

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457 comments

Tolerant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356437)

No, he'll build more jails.

Jails? (1, Interesting)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356659)

No, he'll build more jails.


Last I heard, he wasn't much into building jails. That seems to be more of a US thing, which has the highest prison population rate in the world [kcl.ac.uk] .

And since you seem to imply Venezuela would build jails for political prisoners, would you have a few examples of such political prisoners?

Re:Jails? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356809)

No new jails, because instead they just kill them.

Your answer below. (3, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356467)

Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance?

Magic 8-ball says: "Not likely".

Re:Your answer below. (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356533)

How long before Venezuela blocks YouTube?

Re:Your answer below. (1, Informative)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357099)

How long before Venezuela blocks YouTube?

He isn't blocking RCTV, they will move to satellite and continue to broadcast. They will not be available to lower income levels, but hopefully the new station TVes will still show their views without inciting violence or assassination against a democratically elected government with wide popular support.

Re:Your answer below. (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357229)

Hey, our president hasn't gotten his approval ratings out of the mid 30 percent range in years, yet we haven't several consecutive days' worth of continually growing protests in our streets. You might want to hold back on that "wide popular support" assertion.

Other way around... (2, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357153)

Given recent decisions by numerous web content providers I would think YouTube will be blocking the rogue broadcasters after short blackout of the site by the offended country.

The minute YouTube began actively filtering submissions (in other situations) they opened themselves to accountability for all submissions.

I have to think that user tagging/moderation would have been a better way to go... That type of system is actually the main reason I prefer this news site over most others. It allows the website to actually take a stand on many types of speech issues instead of being forced to bow down to whatever entity gets pissy with them.

Regards.

Fascism + Anti-Americanism x Oil Money = ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356469)

A joke of a country that takes better care of its poor than the United States.

Will there be war? I hope so, since it makes such great television.

Re:Fascism + Anti-Americanism x Oil Money = ??? (3, Insightful)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356633)

A joke of a country that takes better care of its poor than the United States.

Fine, fine. How about we take your computer and redirect the money you spend on broadband and software and give it to the poor? After all, using your money to give food and shelter to the homeless is much more important than your "need" to post on slashdot, yes?

Re:Fascism + Anti-Americanism x Oil Money = ??? (3, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356649)

"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul." --George Bernard Shaw

I'll see your Wycliffe and raise you a Camus... (4, Insightful)

dominion (3153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356713)


"Communism is man's exploitation of man. Capitalism is just the opposite."

Re:Fascism + Anti-Americanism x Oil Money = ??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356947)

A joke of a country that takes better care of its poor than the United States.

Take a ride around Caracas and look at the slums. You will swear you are in Haiti. If the Chavez government spends a larger fraction of the budget helping the poor, it is only because it has to, not because there is some parity between US poor and Venezuelan poor.

But this is irrelevant to the discussion. You can help the poor without resorting to censorship.

If the Fairness Doctrine Legislation Passes...... (0, Troll)

MoronBob (574671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356477)

I guess will see Limbaugh and the rest moving to You Tube.

This is nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356481)

Search for "islam" or "christianity" on youtube and check the wars and the hate muslims show. For eachother, for women, but most of all, for us.

To arms, Filthy Assistants! (1, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356487)

This just screams Transmetropolitan. The Hole was YouTube crossed with Freenet.

Re:To arms, Filthy Assistants! (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357055)

But see what Freenet didn't get was that you have to become widely popular first, then you can become a tool for the revolution. Otherwise your just a tool. :)

Hugo Chavez is a good guy, really! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356497)

Hugo Chavez is a good guy, the Hollywood actor Danny Glover said so! Hear that! A Hollywood actor said so, therefore it must be true.

Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356511)

uh... he'd be the guy who shut down the live television channel

(puts on thinking cap)

hmmm...

Re:Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? (5, Informative)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356671)

he'd be the guy who shut down the live television channel

You mean, didn't renew the license of the station that assisted in the coup of April 2002.

Re:Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356879)

Interesting, First is was for showing him in a bad light. Now it is for participating in a Coup.

I seriously wonder why they people who run that station hasn't been arrested. I mean overthrowing your government is a crime after all. Ahhh, maybe they didn't participate but rather aired stuff that wasn't favorable to the almighty himself. Well, then we are back to the he didn't renew it because they criticized him.

I find it extremely ironic that the person who called Bush evil is now Evil and is being protested by the millions in his own country. A far larger single protest turnout then any of the opposition in America could organize. Maybe Venezuela is just that much bigger then America or maybe they just pick their battles.

Re:Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? (2, Informative)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356991)

Interesting, First is was for showing him in a bad light. Now it is for participating in a Coup.

The opposition came onto RCTV and thanked them for all their help. Marcel Granier told the station not to air anything positive to Chavez that day. They lied about how he resigned, which was the justification used by the military to support the coup.

People quit over these decisions.

I seriously wonder why they people who run that station hasn't been arrested.

Chavez would have had to arrest all of the Private stations, which as you will surely agree is against Freedom of speech. He was waiting for the renewal of RCTV, which the United States has the right to non-renew or provide as well. As do many other places that do it for political reasons that we don't discuss because they are U.S. client states.

But it is a very difficult thing to prove. Watch it yourself, and make up your own mind. The coverage is on youtube.

Ahhh, maybe they didn't participate but rather aired stuff that wasn't favorable to the almighty himself.

So watch the coverage. What do you think based on their lies about him resigning, and their lies about the Chavistas firing on the opposition?

Well, then we are back to the he didn't renew it because they criticized him.

You tell us if you're away of it instead of alluding to it. What are the facts?

I find it extremely ironic that the person who called Bush evil is now Evil and is being protested by the millions in his own country.

A minority, in mostly rich areas, but still important, yes.

Re:Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? (2, Informative)

xlyz (695304) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357097)


why don't you check yourself what really happened?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gRUrQCTtNI [youtube.com]

When will YouTube's license expire? (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356969)

he'd be the guy who shut down the live television channel

You mean, didn't renew the license of the station that assisted in the coup of April 2002.

And how long before he "doesn't renew" YouTube's license?

Re:When will YouTube's license expire? (1)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357031)

And how long before he "doesn't renew" YouTube's license?

He's not killing the station! They are moving to satellite! Why not speak about the facts rationally?

There's an argument to be made about how this is wrong. The opposition should be enabled to speak, if not by RCTV, a private enterprise, but then by TVes. If they cannot communicate on TVes, then that is a real injustice.

Re:Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357009)

Except, wasn't that the later reason? I thought the initial reason given was because they showed soap operas which were offensive to the public moral good.

Re:Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? (1)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357067)

Except, wasn't that the later reason? I thought the initial reason given was because they showed soap operas which were offensive to the public moral good.

I've never heard that. RCTV does show a lot of trashy dramas the public loves. That's why the support is so widespread, but I've never heard that as a justification.

Sources?

Re:Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19357155)

Everyone who mentions that coup never seems to remember Chavez's coup in 1992. I wonder why that is? Was his coup attempt justified but this attempt not?

Thailand's king... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356527)

Isn't he gay?

I keed I keed...

Re:Thailand's king... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19357227)

In a place called Bangkok, you can never be sure.

Just to correct headline (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356531)

Thailand's king is very fond of youtube. It's his followers that are making problems. Truth be told, he did help a lot of people, and he didn't mind the youtube debacle at all.

Re:Just to correct headline (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356737)

Separating the man from the followers is, for all intents and purposes, impossible. From all I've heard, he is a really good guy and he doesn't mind a little fun poked at him. From what I've heard, it's his supported and other people who fight the youtube thing. From what I've heard, followers will fight something for the king so that he can later deny it and say that he supports it and thus get support from both sides. By letting his followers fight youtube, he fights youtube by virtue of the doubt.

Re:Just to correct headline (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356977)

The actions of others don't dictate actions you made. We don't arrest or kill people who say I wish so and so was dead to find out later that someone killed him for you.

King or not, it is a free area of the world. You can't be free when the ruler stops you from your free speech. you cannot take anything that his supporters might do and automatically associate it to a person not participating in it. If so the far left wackos out there would make everyone guilty of some stupidity. It goes the same for the far right.

I can't belive someone in this day is even suggesting the thought of holding a third person responcible for someone elses free speech.

Re:Just to correct headline (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357183)

I agree with the principle of what you said, but I don't think it applies in this instance. There's a big difference between holding someone accountable for another person's speech and holding someone accountable for the legal actions of the countries leaders in their support when they hold the title of king. You're right that we don't hold politicians accountable for their supporters, but the king of Thailand's supporters are government officials who are passing laws.

However, I also am not aware of the political climate in Thailand, so for all I know the king has absolutely no power over what's happening and no influence over those doing it, and if that's the case then I'm obviously very wrong and I apologize.

no bets here... (1)

mackil (668039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356541)

He just shutdown a tv station because they didn't wholly support him, but he'll be ok with YouTube doing the same thing? ... yeah I'm thinking not.

Re:no bets here... (1)

dumb_jedi (955432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356789)

This is not so simple... Chavez didn't close the TV channel because it didn't wholly support him. He did it because the TV channel manipulated the news during the coup in 2002, instead of depicting as a coup by some military, they showed it almost as a "transition" and reported that Chaves had rennounced the presidency, when he didn't do it. So this channel took sides and wasn't impartial. So, why Chaves didn't close the station then ? I don't know, but my guess is that he tought he needed more support from the people, as he has now. The main question is whether is fair, proper or legal to close the channel. Chaves claims that as the channel is against his government and the government has the right to refuse a concession, so it's legal. The opposition claims thet this is against free press and even when the station took sides and wasn't partial, they had the right to do it. A free press doesn't mean a impartial one. I don't know how thing work in Venezuela because I'm in Brasil, but here ALL channels appear to be impartial, but edit and show the news to defend their positions, be political or economical. It's not like Fox that clearly states its political side, so you can argue this is a matter of an authoritarian president against an unethical TV station.

Re:no bets here... (2, Insightful)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357121)

Chavez has also been given de facto dictatorial powers, so the law is de facto and de jure, whatever Chavez says it is, so of course "it's legal". But is it right?

If Chavez was really winning the battle of ideas and making things better in his country, he wouldn't have to oppress his oponents. Right now he's a genuinely popular leader, but he's going to end up driving Venezuela into the ground.

experiment (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356583)

The station called for the assassination of Chavez. No wonder its license wasn't renewed. I wonder how long a US network would last if they tried the corresponding thing here.

They have the right to free speech but not using the public airwaves to distribute propaganda produced by the wealthy oil interests that runs counter to the interests of general public. Nobody is stopping them from joining private cable distribution.

The airwaves are a national resource, and belong to the people. Just like Venezuela's other natural resources.

Re:experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356631)

Dude, there is exactly one "wealthy oil interest" in Venezuela, and its name is Hugo Chavez. Don't swallow all the propaganda in one gulp.

Im confused. (1)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356593)

I thought H. Chavez was cool because he hates Dubya.

Venezuela's Counter-Revolution on YouTube (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356601)

I was always told that the revolution would not be televised.

Re:Venezuela's Counter-Revolution on YouTube (0)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356733)

I was always told that the revolution would not be televised.

Well, isn't that an interesting statement :)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5832390545 689805144 [google.com]

The movie a Revolution will not be televised about the April 2002 coup.

Re:Venezuela's Counter-Revolution on YouTube (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357005)

I meant Gil Scott Heron [gilscottheron.com] . It was pretty goddam brilliant in it's day, and still is.

Re:Venezuela's Counter-Revolution on YouTube (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356823)

It wasn't.

The Counter-Revolution Will Not be Televised (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356609)

Yeah, you go to YouTube for the counter-revolution but three hours later you're watching old music videos and wondering where the hell the time went.

Re:The Counter-Revolution Will Not be Televised (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356779)

They have old music videos on YouTube? I still haven't gotten past the dog on a skateboard, cute cats and Star Wars kid. Boy am I out of the loop!

Re:The Counter-Revolution Will Not be Televised (1)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356859)

I have been watching many of the videos on Youtube.

If anyone wants to see some interesting ones, I have them. This one is particularly interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vryo4U-NZvc [youtube.com]

Put in some perspective... (3, Insightful)

dominion (3153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356647)


And please don't think I'm defending Chavez himself in any ways, but let's remember that Thatcher refused to renew the license of Thames Television. True, their license was lost for capitalist reasons (not being profitable enough), and RCTV was removed for political reasons, but many would argue that those reasons are not really all that different.

And let's be honest about this. In America in 2007, if CNN started taking an active role in the violent removal of Bush (who, while contraversial, was democratically elected), how long do you think the Bush administration would put up with that?

Chavez is authoritarian, heavy-handed and a bit megalomaniacal. But sometimes all of us need to take a good look in the mirror about the state of democracy here before we get all high and mighty about defending democracy elsewhere.

Re:Put in some perspective... (0)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356751)

And please don't think I'm defending Chavez himself in any ways, but let's remember that Thatcher refused to renew the license of Thames Television. True, their license was lost for capitalist reasons (not being profitable enough), and RCTV was removed for political reasons, but many would argue that those reasons are not really all that different.

Good point, but it was still wrong in my mind.


Chavez is authoritarian, heavy-handed and a bit megalomaniacal.


There are authoritarian tendencies, and democratic ones. Your statement is too harsh in my mind.

Re:Put in some perspective... (1)

dominion (3153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356955)

Good point, but it was still wrong in my mind.

I agree as well. Moreso for them, actually, because back then you didn't have the internet as an alternative. So the license was more important back then.

Re:Put in some perspective... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356757)

And let's be honest about this. In America in 2007, if CNN started taking an active role in the violent removal of Bush (who, while contraversial, was democratically elected), how long do you think the Bush administration would put up with that?

The difference is that you are apparently welcome to wave your hand and dismiss the fact that this is government censorship. Honestly, what would your reaction be if it happened here in the USA? (Granted, things like this probably DO happen here, but are better disguised.)

Chavez is authoritarian, heavy-handed and a bit megalomaniacal. But sometimes all of us need to take a good look in the mirror about the state of democracy here before we get all high and mighty about defending democracy elsewhere.

Actually, we need to get high and mighty about defending democracy EVERYWHERE. It's not a sometimes kind of thing. Either you have convictions, or you don't.

Re:Put in some perspective... (1)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356911)

The difference is that you are apparently welcome to wave your hand and dismiss the fact that this is government censorship.

The difference is that you are apparently welcome to wave your hand at television stations assisting in the coup of a democratically elected leader.

Actually, we need to get high and mighty about defending democracy EVERYWHERE. It's not a sometimes kind of thing. Either you have convictions, or you don't.

The conviction that should be defended is freedom of speech here, and it is true the opposition deserves a place to be enabled to speak. I support this, and hopefully TVes the new station will allow the opposition a lot of time to discuss their opinions and views, but not inciting violence against a Democratically elected regime.

Re:Put in some perspective... (1)

dominion (3153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356919)

The difference is that you are apparently welcome to wave your hand and dismiss the fact that this is government censorship. Honestly, what would your reaction be if it happened here in the USA?

More importantly, what would a Venezuelan's reaction be? Because I live in the US, of course I would be upset. My point is merely that people very often get very self-righteous about condemning the actions of other countries, while suspiciously ignoring many of the egregious encroachments on freedom that occur in their own backyard.

Re:Put in some perspective... (5, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356795)

The Bush Administration wouldn't get away with shutting down CNN. The best they could do is stop cooperating and making life hard for CNN, but not shut it down because we here in America still love our freedom. I live in the state with the highest approval rate for Bush, and even here I haven't met anyone who thinks that his wiretapping moves are good, just that they're bearable and he's done more good overall. If one of our leaders touched the press, maybe people in Utah wouldn't support his removal, but he would surely be impeached as fast as you could make a cool name ending in "gate".

p.s. (this isn't flamebait, I'm describing others opinions, not my own, and I'm certainly not trying to offend or pick a fight).

Re:Put in some perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356867)

He said violently take down... its illegal to threaten the President in this manner. The Secret Service would be knocking on their door very quickly as they should. I disagree with the President, but I don't want that.

Re:Put in some perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19357203)

The Secret Service would be knocking on their door very quickly...

I think you're definitely on the right track here.

CNN would not be shut down, per se, but everyone at CNN who advocated violent overthrow of the US government would quickly be labeled an "enemy combatant" by the Bush administration - and, of course, subjected to secret detentions and "aggressive interrogation".

The thing is, CNN is big business and big business is in bed with the Bush administration. It's almost impossible to imagine that CNN would be involved in advocating violent overthrow of the Bush administration. Anyone radical enough to advocate violent overthrow of the Bush administration would never be hired by CNN in the first place.

The more likely scenario is that some small group would come out advocating violent overthrow via a public media like the internet and the FBI would send in "informants" to trick the members of the group into making "terrorist threats". In fact, such things are already happening in the USA already. Just delve into the details of the various "terrorist" groups that the FBI has charged with conspiring against the USA.

In other words, the Bush administration targets individuals rather than organizations.

Re:Put in some perspective... (1)

dominion (3153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356887)

The Bush Administration wouldn't get away with shutting down CNN. The best they could do is stop cooperating and making life hard for CNN

If it were, say, NBC, the FCC could easily revoke it's license.

but not shut it down because we here in America still love our freedom.

This may be still true, but each year it seems less so.

Re:Put in some perspective... (2, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357019)

[...]we here in America still love our freedom.
Hehehe. You don't get out much, do you?

Re:Put in some perspective... (3, Insightful)

antv (1425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357047)

The Bush Administration wouldn't get away with shutting down CNN. The best they could do is stop cooperating and making life hard for CNN, but not shut it down because we here in America still love our freedom.


Well, CNN nad NBC are bad examples. During 2002 military coup RCTV reported that Chavez "denounced" his presidency when in fact he didn't. Imagine that a rogue military group took over White House and CNN claimed that president resigned when in fact he didn't. That's pretty much what happened in Venezuela.

Would FCC renew a broadcasting license for a station that did something like that ? None of our TV stations would try anything like that in the first place, but if one of them tried I'm pretty sure it will be considered treason.

Re:Put in some perspective... (1)

hswerdfe (569925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357157)

I agree the press in america major can't be shut down.
But that is not because of freedom or democracy or any other such nonsense you are misguided enough to believe. It is because of money, you live in a plutocracy and the press has a lot of money. Plus when it really matters the major press will self sensor under presure from politcians or under presure from corperations.
The American dream One Dollar One Vote!

Re:Put in some perspective... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356899)

I don't really think many are surprised that the TV station was shutdown and people generally understand that the same thing would happen in just about any other country if that station was supporting violent revolution (I don't know if they were mind you..)

What we all think is cool is that they are now up on YouTube. If CNN got shutdown for encouraging violent revolution I would think it was AWESOME if they found their way onto the internet even if I didn't personally support their viewpoint. (Disclaimer: I actually kinda like our government, but love free speech as well ).

Re:Put in some perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356963)

Your doubletalk is much more eloquent than notque's [slashdot.org] .

Re:Put in some perspective... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357137)

In america, there are already laws about violently overthrowing the government. I am going to assume there are some in Venezuela too. Anyone including a TV station should be covered under those laws. So if CNN were to do something, then they would be rightfully hit by the application of those laws.

Now what I don't understand is, Why chaves didn't prosecute the people who were activly working against him in a violent revolution or whatever. Actually I think it was some peaceful coup or something. So if they already punished the people behind it, then this deal with shutting down the TV station is just retaliation. If they didn't arrest them already, then it is just retaliation again.

Anything concerning the coup should already have been dealt with. This is just absurd punishment for other reasons. Probably personal to boot.

U.S. Counter-Revolution On YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356655)

"But the use of the site to avoid censorship is growing, and it's not hard to imagine a day in the near future when the site (or sites like it) becomes as essential as local TV stations. As that happens, YouTube will come into even more conflicts with governments that have an interest in controlling what their citizens see, It's already happening--Thailand's king, for instance, has a thing for iPods but isn't too keen on YouTube. Will Hugo Chavez show more tolerance? "

Do you think that there is still hope for democracy and freedom in the United States Of America given the current a href="http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article. asp?id=1941">Military-Industria-CONGRESSIONAL Complex?

Will YouTube help foment The Revolution?

Re:U.S. Counter-Revolution On YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19357185)

At least you can still go to a country that truly values democracy and freedom, like Venezuela!

YAH!! (1)

axia777 (1060818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356669)

Another perfect reason that the Internet is the most pure form is Anarchy ever created in the history of the human race. Anyone can do anything they want regardless of what anyone else wants. Anyone has power and anyone can effect everything. I figure all governments hate the Internet, secretly or otherwise.

Re:YAH!! (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356905)

Another perfect reason that the Internet is the most pure form is Anarchy ever created in the history of the human race. Anyone can do anything they want regardless of what anyone else wants.

I wish that were true, but it's a bunch of crap. Barring the use of fairly extreme measures on your part to preserve security, it's easy enough for the government to find you and send some men around to cart you off to someplace highly pixelated on google maps.

Re:YAH!! (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357081)

You cannot do anything you want. People are arrested and convicted every day for crimes involving Internet uses.

There are limits to everything. With the internet you can get around some of those limits. But you will end up painting a target on your head and eventually you will end up ruining it for everyone as well as get hit by some governing authority.

you want to shut Chavez up? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Admin (304403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356705)

The fastest route to bringing Venezuela back to reality is simply to stop buying Citgo products. Dry up the money. Dry up Chavez...

Re:you want to shut Chavez up? (1)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356819)

The fastest route to bringing Venezuela back to reality is simply to stop buying Citgo products. Dry up the money. Dry up Chavez...

But make sure you understand the situation. It's a worthwhile discussion to have, but I would argue we should be buying Citgo products. Remember, his approval rating is 65% approval. We should be supporting who the people want in power.

Here is the latest from Dataanlisis.

President Chavez's performance in office continues to be viewed positively by nearly two-thirds of the population, despite a 70% rejection of the non-renewal of the TV broadcast license of RCTV, according to the Venezuelan polling firm Datanalisis. Also, a new Latinobarometro poll finds that Latin Americans view Venezuela as the friendliest country in the Americas.

64.7% of Venezuelans viewed Chavez's performance in office positively in March and 29.6% viewed it negatively, explained Datanalisis Director Luis Vicente Leon to Venezuela's foreign press association today. The survey was conducted between March 12 and 23, among 1,300 Venezuelans of all socio-economic levels, with a margin of error of 2.7%.

A breakdown of the population's perception of the country's current situation shows that opinions about Venezuela are still sharply divided along class lines. In the country's upper class--known as "A/B" among Venezuelan demographers--only 38.2% of this group views the country's situation positively. The perception is progressively more positive, the lower people's income, so that in the country's largest and poorest class, known as "E," 68.9% view the country's situation positively.

However, when asked how Venezuelans view their personal situation, an overwhelming majority (over 60%) in all classes view it as positive.

While Chavez continues to enjoy high levels of support, opposition parties are the least respected institutions in the country, with only 26.8% of the population viewing them positively. Among the most favorably viewed institutions are the church, at 80%, and private enterprise, between 75 and 88%, depending on the sector.

With regard to the government's performance in various areas, the most favorable areas were social programs, such as in education, food, and health, with approval ratings of 68.8%, 64.7%, and 64.2% respectively. The government received its lowest score in the area of providing personal security, with a mere 8.4% approval rating.

Another area where the government received a low approval rating was its decision not to renew the broadcast license of the private TV channel RCTV, whose license expires on May 27th. Nearly 70% of Venezuelans disapprove of the decision, while only 16.4% support it. The RCTV survey was conducted separately between April 9 and 16.

According to Leon, RCTV is the country's most popular TV channel and those who watch the channel are much more concerned about losing its soap operas and game shows than its political programming. "Chavez will not come out of this unhurt with regard to his popularity," said Leon and added that this was perhaps the most unpopular decision Chavez has made during his entire presidency.

In other controversial matters, a large majority of Chavez supporters are in favor of the president's effort to create a unified socialist party, with 64.7% indicating approval and only 13.9% opposed. The rest did not indicate their preference.

This Datanalisis survey was financed by subscribers to Datanalisis's newsletter, which goes out to about 300 of Venezuela's main private businesses.

Re:you want to shut Chavez up? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356843)

But as you should probably know, the Chavez - Citgo link, is an urban myth.

Re:you want to shut Chavez up? (2, Insightful)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357197)

The fastest route to bringing Venezuela back to reality is simply to stop buying Citgo products. Dry up the money. Dry up Chavez.

Even if a Citgo boycott did have an effect on Chavez...
While Chavez can be an enormous asshat at times, Venezuela looks like a human-rights paradise
compared to plenty of other oil-producing nations.

Redirecting your money to one of them isn't really the answer either.

can't belive you guys.. (0, Flamebait)

rek2 (1091071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356715)

you guys are so brain wash by american media.. please go find your sources of the truth on independent media inside the US or in another country... everyone knows that US mass media twisted information and show us mexican images not from Venezuela.. also that the mayority of the people supports this decision and they are not shutting it down only not renewing is public license, since they are not unbiased, so they have to move to cable or satellite totally understandable.. LOL I can't believe people is falling for this one.. http://www.iacenter.org/Venezuela/venez_media0607. html [iacenter.org] read the facts!

Re:can't belive you guys.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356799)

Sir, this is /., and these are Americans, we are immune to your so-called "facts".

Chavez isn't a libertarian, therefore he is evil, thus spake the /bot.

Chavez doesn't want to bend over to America, therefore he is evil, thus spake the American.

Chavez is democratically elected, even after an American funded coup, and seems to being some real good for his country (compared to how the CIA kept South America), therefore good for him, thus spoke I.

Re:can't belive you guys.. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356833)

LOL I can't believe people is falling for this one..

you may well be right, but the link you provided does not in any way support your position.

In fact it is clear that it is bullshit, because it is somewhat self-contradictory.

Towards the end of the message it is said that "It is also important to note that while RCTV enjoyed access to the public spectrum, it far exceeded its prescribed role as a media outlet in a democracy." But towards the beginning the statement claims "The decision not to renew RCTV's broadcast license was a simple regulatory matter". If it's a simple regulatory matter, why is it necessary to make excuses about how RCTV overstepped their boundaries? Simply, it is not.

The story is probably not as simple as it is portrayed here. But I am certain that it is not as simple as you make it out to be, either.

Re:can't belive you guys.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356853)

Brainwashed by American media?? Ha! I fart in your general direction! Apparently you do not visit the BBCs website at all.

Poor people don't get Youtube (1)

carlos_J (128969) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356719)

I was the one that submitted the story. I think that RCTV was smart by using Youtube to get their message out after they were forced to shut down. I have never been to Venezuela but I have lived in Latin America and I don't think many poor people in Venezuela have computers much less the internet.

Re:Poor people don't get Youtube (0)

Hettch (692387) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356989)

The poor, no, they can barely afford to eat. To them, Chavez is demigod. The middle and upper class, yes they can afford computers/internet, or can easily access them at a nearby internet cafe for a small price. It is these same people (middle/upper classes) that are the ones who do not support Chavez. I think for RCTV, this was a great idea, they can still broadcast their message and are not completely shut up.


/Spent last summer in Caracas. Must say that after seeing gas cost less than water and partaking of free medical services, its hard for me to be *completely* anti-Chavez. Albeit, he's still a pompous, dirty-mouthed bruto.

Re:Poor people don't get Youtube (1)

BendingSpoons (997813) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357133)

I was the one that submitted the story. I think that RCTV was smart by using Youtube to get their message out after they were forced to shut down.
Aren't cues to the moderators supposed to be a bit more subtle? Also, I believe that your opinion came across loud in clear in the summary:

While putting the station's shows on YouTube is an excellent idea...

Re:Poor people don't get Youtube (1)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357141)

I think that RCTV was smart by using Youtube to get their message out after they were forced to shut down.

Chavistas are using the internet as well, like this video,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vryo4U-NZvc [youtube.com]

The mayor of Caracas calling for violent protest against the closing of RCTV.

Ban youtube is much easier than to close a TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356721)

If in Brazil, a single judge could ban youtube, imagine what Hugo Chávez can do.

Privatized, renationalized (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356723)

It's good that youTube is there to provide an outlet to anyone who has a video they'd like the world to see, and I'm sure the fans of that channel's shows will be happy to see them there. But considering that the station supported a coup to overthrow the democratically elected president of their nation, I can't blame him for taking their antennas away.

Re:Privatized, renationalized (1)

sandeepbansal (1010369) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356865)

Quite true. but if more and more people start using youtube for purposes like this the first thing after performing a step of such type would be to ban youtube in the country and then metacafe and then whatnot. This happened in india when government tried to ban all the blogs. Too bad the plan backfired.

Publish on all fronts (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357049)

Quite true. but if more and more people start using youtube for purposes like this the first thing after performing a step of such type would be to ban youtube in the country and then metacafe and then whatnot. This happened in india when government tried to ban all the blogs. Too bad the plan backfired.
Indeed. But you seed a few torrents, there is no stopping your information.

About the coup d'état (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356921)

The Venezuelan coup attempt of 2002 [wikipedia.org] was a failed military coup d'état on April 11, 2002. It saw the brief overthrow and arrest of leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the dissolution of the democratically elected National Assembly, the dissolution of the Supreme Court, and the repeal of the country's constitution.

Rightist businessman and Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecámaras) president Pedro Carmona was subsequently installed as interim president for 47 hours. In Caracas, the coup led to riots and a pro-Chávez uprising that the Metropolitan Police attempted to suppress. Key sectors of the military and parts of the anti-Chávez movement refused to back Carmona. The pro-Chávez Presidential Guard eventually retook the Miraflores presidential palace without firing a shot, leading to the collapse of the Carmona government and the re-installation of Chávez as president.

The coup was publicly condemned by Latin American nations (the Rio Group presidents were gathered together in San José, Costa Rica, at the time, and were able to issue a joint communiqué) and international organizations. The United States, which had acknowledged the de facto Carmona government, condemned the coup after Chávez had been restored to power. Upon news of Chávez's return, Condoleezza Rice, then National Security Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush, said: "We do hope that Chávez recognizes that the whole world is watching and that he takes advantage of this opportunity to right his own ship, which has been moving, frankly, in the wrong direction for quite a long time."

A little background (4, Insightful)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356771)

Okay, I think that refusing to renew the license of this broadcaster was a bad move. BUT, under the legal theory that controls this sort of thing, it's pretty much a no-brainer.

  Those broadcast licenses are *supposed* to be held in the public interest. This TV station supported a military coup against the democratically elected government.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Attempted_coup_i n_Venezuela#Events_leading_up_to_the_coup [wikipedia.org]

  That's a pretty unambiguous abuse of the public trust. Can you imagine what would happen to NBC's affiliate broadcast licenses if they supported a military coup against our government? If they weren't tried for treason and shot, they certainly wouldn't be allowed to keep broadcasting.

  Which brings us to the subject of restraint - actually, Chavez has shown a remarkable degree of restraint so far against those who tried to overthrow him militarily. They haven't even filed charges against the military officers - the man that the coup tried to install as President was Chavez' opponent in following last Venezuelan election.

  I seriously doubt that he's going to try and block Youtube.

Counter-revolution indeed (2, Informative)

alexwcovington (855979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356787)

While the suppression of dissent is always dishonourable, the fact remains that RCTV actively supported the coup against Chavez a few years back. FAIR has some details [fair.org] . Now I'm no expert, but I'd imagine that if, some TV network in the United States tried to incite the masses to revolt against George W. Bush, and the revolt was put down, the broadcast licences for that network would be cancelled. At least Chavez isn't doing what the Russians have been doing lately.... "not" killing reporters. While I still have deep concerns over issues of freedom of speech and the press in Venezuela, I still applaud Mr. Chavez in taking strides to combat poverty in his own country, and in the United States through his heating oil donations.

Astounding... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357089)

That anyone would defend Hugo Chavez and his actions in any way.

Chavez is nothing more than a protodictator who will soon take Venezuela down the same path Castro took Cuba, into poverty and oppression.

We've been through this before folks, socialism/communism leads to nothing but bad things. The fact that he throws some heating oil at the Kennedys changes nothing.

The revolution will not be televised (2, Funny)

evanbd (210358) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356805)

Rather, it will be posted on YouTube.

Chavez Was Democratically Elected (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19356827)

In my life I have learned that there are some good people who have terrible reputations because they have sinned against the shapers of opinion. Hugo Chavez is almost certainly one of these, a democratically elected leader who committed the crime of trying to spend oil profits on the poor instead of handing them over to American oil executives. The Bush government (never democratically elected, having stolen Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004) fomented at least one failed coup attempt against Chavez. So Chavez steps on private broadcasters who want to bring him down? Fox News was instrumental in installing our own torture-loving, war-mongering, never-elected wiretapper-in-chief; if I were the new president, I'd be just as rough on Fox as Chavez is on the would-be Foxes of his nation. And ask yourself: how much of what you "know" about him is from sources who want to destroy him? The poor of Venezuela LOVE this man. Do the poor of America love Bush? Could Bush walk through the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans without bodyguards? That's what I thought.

Re:Chavez Was Democratically Elected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19357063)

The Bush government (never democratically elected, having stolen Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004)

this bullshit is both old and unproven. i guess you must love your tin foil hat.

Fox News was instrumental in installing our own torture-loving, war-mongering, never-elected wiretapper-in-chief; if I were the new president, I'd be just as rough on Fox as Chavez is on the would-be Foxes of his nation.

again, more spin with no proof. but thanks for playing anyway. if bush would have taken cnn off the air you'd probably be crying bloody murder.

Could Bush walk through the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans without bodyguards? That's what I thought.

yeah, just like kennedy in dallas. everyone loved him. right?

opps! did i say that outloud? my mistake.

Oh I'm so conflicted. (0, Flamebait)

gadders (73754) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356873)

I thought we were supposed like Chavez because he is anti-American but now he is anti-You Tube and I just don't know what to do!!!

YouTube likelihood self-censorship (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356891)

I'd imagine that YouTube will take an increasing role in self-censoring to adhere to local government regulations. Already, YouTube complies with U.S. DMCA take-down requests, so why wouldn't they comply with a Venezuelan government requests to filter the content according to Venezuelan laws?

YouTube's ownership by Google makes it more vulnerable to coercion by governments that can threaten to turn-off Google unless YouTube complies with local content regulations.

Twisted logic (2, Informative)

SirBruce (679714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356959)

I love all the liberals who are now trying to defend their anti-Capitalist hero Chavez on this point by claiming that since the news station was involved in trying to oust Chavez before, Chavez is justified. But they only think that because they think Chavez is a priori a good leader. If it was a tv station that was trying to oust a leader they didn't like -- say, impleach Bush -- they'd be all for it and declare any pull of the license as retaliatory and censorship. Come on, people, stand up for your principles for a change!

Re:Twisted logic (2, Insightful)

antv (1425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357187)

If it was a tv station that was trying to oust a leader they didn't like -- say, impleach Bush -- they'd be all for it and declare any pull of the license as retaliatory and censorship.


You don't understand the situation. RCTV didn't just call for Chavez to stand down - during the military coup it reported that Chavez decided to stand down when he in fact didn't.
Imagine that there was an armed group of people dragging Bush out of White House and TV stations claiming that Bush agreed to leave willingly - is that okay with you ?

It is in fact illegal in USA to scream "Fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire. I would assume it's also illegal to claim that president of a country decided to leave his post when he didn't.

Everyone you want it to see will see it (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356973)

Let's face it. People who don't care about being filled with propaganda won't watch your "free" news anyway. They prefer flashy news, shocking news, anything that's entertaining and thrilling, but they rarely care about the content. You won't even reach them if you could broadcast it through standard means.

People who do care about "hearing the other side" will try to hear it, no matter what. And all you got to do is point them at the YouTube link for your news broadcast, and they will watch it.

Let's play pretend (3, Insightful)

guspasho (941623) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356995)

Let's pretend the government owns the airwaves as a public resource and licenses its use, ie the license to use the airwaves is granted by the government, not anyone's God-given right. Let's pretend a TV station who holds a government license for use of public airwaves sponsored a coup against a democratically-elected government. Let's pretend that coup attempt failed. Wouldn't the rule of law require that the people who attempted to overthrow the government be held accountable? Wouldn't a reasonable repercussion be that the TV station involved in the coup have its license revoked for its attempted overthrow of the government? Wouldn't it even seem especially charitible of the government to refrain from taking special action and simply refuse to renew the license when it came up for renewal?

Because that's exactly what happened here.

I have no sympathy for this station. Freedom of speech, my ass.

Live Lesson on the Rise of a Tyrant (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357021)

Tyrants almost always disguise their lust for power as sympathy for the persecuted and downtrodden. Castro did it in the 50's; Chavez is doing the same thing now.

I hope our youth are paying attention to what's happening in Venezuela right now, because I think the next 20 years will be an invaluable lesson in how a dictator-to-be dupes a populace with promises of govenrment-provided prosperity and national unity. In other words, he's going to steal from the minority rich to buy the support of the majority poor, and anyone who dissents will be silenced.

Pay attention, folks! Dictators haven't changed much since Lenin, despite each's promises of a socialist utopia. Maybe one of these centuries we'll recognize these tyrants before we let them rise to power and exploit their people.

Media Regulation (2, Insightful)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357073)

I know it all looks rather dictatoreque of Chavez to refuse to renew their licence, but if any western media channel behaved in the way they did, normal regulatory bodies would have shut them down long ago. Imagine the bias of Fox news multiplied by 100 and you begin to get the picture. During the coup attempt against the Chavez government in 2002 the news channels deliberately manipulated news footage to make it look like Chavez supporters were shooting people. What do you think would happen to a US TV Station if it did something like that and the whole Channel was behind it? I should imagine if the BBC had supported a foreign-backed coup against the democratically elected government of the UK, they would be shut down as well.

What Venezuela needs is effective media monitors like Ofcom, perhaps with international observers. Also, the reason we keep hearing so much about Chavez is not because of his actions, it is because he is not a US ally. If he was a US ally and was doing these things, the media would be largely disinterested. That is important to realise. For example, much was made of his enabling act, yet the same kind of act was used by several previous Venezuelan presidents. The difference being that they were US allies and he isn't.

A message to Venezuela (1)

thetagger (1057066) | more than 7 years ago | (#19357145)

The best part of political stability is that your right to be left alone is preserved. Most Latin American countries solved the worse part of their political problems two decades ago. I am really sorry that unlike us, you have to be going through all this now. I am really sorry that the common Venezuelan, that should be able to take care of his family or study without being bothered will have instead to forcibly pick sides due to all the political extremism Venezuela has been going through. And the first thing extremism breeds is stupidity. Anyone that sees those RCTV videos on Youtube will see how moronically single-minded their coverage is on the one hand, and how criminally hypocritical Chavez's (who promoted a failed coup-d'état against the government) reaction is to this. RCTV's calls for "freedom of the press" and "democracy" are trite. Chavez's "socialism" and "bolivarianism" are trite. What is a reasonable man to do when living in an age of extremes, and extreme stupidity?
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