Thursday, July 05, 2007

Is Chávez cracking down on journalists?

Roger Santodomingo, the editor of the Venezuelan web site Noticiero Digital, resigned last week in the face of increasing threats from supporters of autocrat Hugo Chávez. Santodomingo received a letter that had been circulating at his son's school which called him a "traitor", and began receiving voicemails that suggest that his son would be run over while walking home from school. The cherry on the sundae occurred yesterday when his car was set ablaze while it was parked outside his home.

Chávez has been working hard to stifle media opposition to his "Bolivarian revolution", but the targeting of Santodomingo marks a new low in Venezuela's rapidly diminishing press freedoms. Just as when a Chavista mob attacked the offices of the (now closed) RCTV, Chávez could wash his hands of it and blame overzealous supporters. However, Chávez cannot wash his hands either of the incendiary anti-opposition press rhetoric that inspires his followers to use violence, much less forget that power in Venezuela is from the top down. If Chávez doesn't issue a statement calling on his party's regional leaders to stop, or even condemn, the violence, the attacks on journalists will continue. Granted, the Mercedes Marxists in America and Europe are embarrassed by Chávez's institution of Cuban style repression of journalists. A law passed in 2005 threatens journalists with legal action for "insulting" public officials, and while it had used mostly as a threat to journalists unfriendly to Chávez, the government has gone on the offensive with a spate of prosecutions.

Is anyone starting to realize why Hugo gets along so famously with Robert Mugabe and Alexsandr Lukashenko?

UPDATE: Welcome readers of The Beak Speaks!

5 comments:

beakerkin said...

Great site

Anonymous said...

Trying very hard to connect non existing dots are we.

Why not talk about your government and the criminal protection racket that is going on. Just like over riding court decisions and pardoning criminals like libby.

beakerkin said...

I see you have far left Commie types here as well.

We here the typical story from the far left. The far left itself is a religion. The hope is each new communism will be the one that gets it right.

The thought that the system itself doesn't work just never sinks in.

Always On Watch said...

Beak posted about your site, and I've bookmarked it for reference.

Jungle Mom said...

Great site! I just left Venezuela last week after a 20 year residency in country. Never thought I would have to leave but because of my children's future, I feel we had no other choice.