Monday, May 24, 2004

Catching up? Or being under attack?

Well, as I am trying to catch up with a week of news I find out that I am actually part of the news! The tiniest part that is, but a part nevertheless. But some background first.

I have written a few weeks ago about the ridiculous charges levied against Sumate from having received an NED grant. As if the 50 K dollars Sumate received could overthrow the Venezuelan government, a government awash in dollars that it is distributing freely, and without any accounting, to foster its political goals.

I have had also private e-mail exchange with Ms. Golinger who did not like my comments on a recent Venezuelanalysis article of hers. This would not be particularly important except that she has referred to them in an exchange with Francisco Toro of Caracas Chronicles.

That exchange on Francisco's site came up because Ms. Golinger has been found out to be receiving money for reasons that are very, very comparable to those that are pinned on Sumate by her and her chavista friends. Ms. Golinger falls within FARA, Foreign Agent Registration Act.

The point is not to discuss the monies received by the different sides agents although one could find the amounts spend by Chavez 's administration on the Patton Boggs lobbying agents rather obscene. The point is that Ms. Golinger has received money for the very same act she condemns. She pretends to make us see Sumate as an agency focused on overthrowing Chavez, while she avoids discussing that she defends a government trying to overthrow Venezuelan democracy, the newly approved law to control the Judiciary Power as a the most recent evidence. The readers of this blog can compare the ethics of Sumate and its accuser.

However from the exchange between Ms. Golinger and Francisco I can quote this from her:
One of your colleagues [me] pointed out something critical to me regarding your "blogs" - he made clear that what you all write is just merely opinion, with no legal weight and no evidentiary burden. You can freely be reckless and irresponsible in your essays with no legal repercussion because you are bound by no editorial policy or legal rules that obligate you to base your writings in fact.
I happen to be more ethical and responsible than that, Mr. Toro. I base my accusations in hard evidence and fact. But then again, I am a lawyer bound to professional responsibility regulations and you and your colleagues are just blogging away in cyberspace with no one to answer to.

This is what I wrote to her then:
First I think it is important that you differentiate what is a blog and what is a web site such as the sites where you write. A blog is a site where one can write anything that one fancies. A web site such as is a site where there is a certain editorial policy that must be followed, the editorial policy being as strict as the owners wish it to be. Thus my words in my blog are mine only. [snip].

If people find my "attacks" to you debased, they will just stop reading my blog. [snip]

I do not make any claim to objectivity though I try to avoid vitriolic statements and try to let facts speak by themselves. Like you, I have a political goal and I work for it.

I wonder from where did Ms. Golinger got her impression. I tried to explain to her what a blog is or can be, AND THEN I explained what my blog was. Yet she freely accuses us of "reckless", and, the lawyer in her taking over, she is not afraid to add "evidentiary burden". Obviously at this point Ms. Golinger still does not know what blogs are.

I call on Ms. Golinger for using my words, twisted in their meaning, to attack Francisco. I do not lower myself in my blog to such things, as I wrote to her then "my words are mine only". Otherwise I will let the readers of Francisco blog and mine decide on the ethics of Ms. Golinger.

But I will have a question for my readers: please compare the "facts" that I report in this site (links from abundant sources that are serious for the most part) with the "facts" that Ms. Golinger claims to hold as indisputable. I am afraid that her facts are not any better than those reported by Francisco. The big difference is that Francisco is able to acknowledge doubt on occasion (as I do), and even his dissensions with other bloggers, something not heard in the pro Chavez English language world.

To close this low moment I will like to quote yet something else from my letter to Ms. Golinger:
You can also find on the right side of my blog links to Aporrea and Venezuelanalysis. You might not be aware of that but in the first half of 2003 my blog was the only opposition site, so to speak, to link to the other side!!! Now at least Francisco Toro has joined me in this. I still have to see a pro Chavez site do so.

Funny that I am still waiting for a comment on that.

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