Monday, March 29, 2004

El Universal: the view from Tal Cual

Monday 29, March 2004

I just read the Tal Cual editorial for today and it is an attack on El Universal: "Que facil es ser Ultra", How easy it is to be an ultra. Indeed.

Teodoro Petkoff is a little bit upset about El Universal banner and opinion articles of yesterday, in particular the editorial line and Marta Colomina. The reason? They preach that the opposition should not bother with elections since we are in a dictatorship. And Teodoro asks the question, how can El Universal rest its case with a banner that reads "elections under dictatorship", a banner that Chavez could show in any international meeting to PROVE that Venezuela is not under a dictatorship?

Indeed, we are a hair away from the definitive break down of the de jure system, ready to happily jump into the de facto system (and Chavez yesterday said nothing to reassure us, by the way!) But El Universal radicalism might have the contrary effect: people giving up the struggle since all is lost.

One thing is to be aware that the stack is piled against the opposition, another thing is to give up and rebel before the time comes. We must go all the way to the bitter end, that is the only way to avoid that bitter end, perhaps .

I do respect and like EL Universal, and I quote freely from it since it is the only major Venezuelan paper accessible for free in the Internet, not to mention that it is the only one that has a small section in English. But I must agree with Teodoro, sometimes it is hard to quote El Universal.

One thing I will say in the defence of El Universal: it is the only paper that has opposed Chavez consistently, and even fairly at first, even before Chavez made it to the presidency. Other papers, such as El Nacional did help along to the victory of Chavez and today have positions sometimes as silly, or more, than El Universal. Too late guys, you should have seen it coming!

Now, unfortunately it is difficult for all sides to even try to maintain a minimum of objectivity. Teodoro sorts of manages it, but even Tal Cual on occasion slips. When you have an agressive president as we do, who is really to blame? How can objectivity be maintained when our beloved leader is past morality?

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