Thursday, March 24, 2005

Two different ways of saying/not saying that Venezuela signs an information accord with Cuba.-

Some news are the same, but are not quite presented the same way by the source that publish them. First, let us read the essence of El Universal version:

Venezuela and Cuba sign an accord of information cooperation.

EFE informed that Venezuela and Cuba signed an accord of cooperation in information thanks to which the Cuban Press Agency (Prensa Latina) will help restructure and reactivate the Bolivarian News Agency (ABN). The accord was signed by the PL president, Frank Gonzalez and the director of ABN, Freddy Fernandez, in the building of the Ministry of Information and Communications with the presence of Minister Andres Izarra. The accord will allow PL to advise ABN in the news information treatment, in the training of personnel and in the use of new multimedia technologies. Izarra also said that the accord will help to internationalize ABN since they aspire to have a network of international correspondents that will spread the truth about Venezuela and pick up information of interest for the Venezuelan people.

Now let us read the same news that appeared in the Information Ministry (MINCI) page:

ABN and Prensa Latina sign an accord of information cooperation.

The Bolivarian News Agency (ABN) and the International Agency of Latin Press signed this Wednesday an accord of information cooperation which objective is to route the Venezuelan agency towards a larger development and world projection. In the meeting were present the minister of Communication and Information, Andres Izarra, the president of Prensa Latina, Frank Gonzalez and the Director of ABN, Freddy Fernandez.

Izarra emphasized that this type of accord helps in the effort that the national government is undertaking to impulse ALBA. He also said that the accord strengthens ABN in the technological and information field as well as in the area of training of reporters and editors. “The accord between ABN and Prensa Latina helps us internationalize our Venezuelan agency”, indicated the minister.

It is expected that ABN will position itself among the first news agencies of the world, added minister Izarra.

My first observation is of course the fact that the word “Cuba” does not appear at all in the news provided by the MINCI. If you read carefully, you can see that even the PL agency, a Cuba based agency, is called an “International” agency. So why is that the MINCI does not want that the country affiliation of Prensa Latina appear in its main page?

The second observation is that Prensa Latina is going to help the Bolivarian News Agency not only in the training of personnel, but also in multimedia technologies (according to EUD) and in the “technological and information field” (according to the MINCI). So, in my view, that means that the Cubans must be much more developed in the technological and information field than the Venezuelans, right?

Well, this ghost blogger was a bit skeptic and wanted to check that out. I thought that if a country is really much better in technology and information, that should be correlated with good Internet and technology statistics. The more advanced you are in those areas, the more number of hosts and PCs you have per capita…. So I went to the page of the ITU, which is the International Telecommunication Union and found a page where the 2003 (the latest) Internet statistics per country are kept. They are here. Here is a comparison table between Cuba and Venezuela.

Country

Total nr. Of Hosts

Hosts per 10000 hab

Nr users (K)

Users per 10000 hab

Nr of PCs (K)

Nr of PCs per 100 hab

Cuba

1529

1.35

98

86.63

270

2.39

Venezuela

35301

13.74

1549.5

602.98

1536

6.09









So, with this table in front of me,I ask Minister Izarra how can he justify at all that Cuba helps Venezuela in technological and information matters?

There is no justification WHATSOEVER.

…No wonder the word “Cuba” did not appear anywhere in the news from the MINCI page.

Jorge Arena.

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