Wednesday, August 01, 2007

RCTV to stay a little bit longer in the Venezuelan airwaves

(updated)

In one of those weird turn of events, the high court of Venezuela, under the pen of its chief, Luisa Estela Morales of ill repute with this blogger, has decided to accept a cautionary measure from the Cable and Satellite systems of Venezuela. What did they do? Well, believe it or not, they sort of used the same tactic that was used against RCTV in May when a group of citizens claimed that they would suffer some form of psychological damage if they were to turn on their TV and nothing would happen on channel 2 (RCTV slot until May 27). So, the court, ever so obliging when it is convenient for chavismo decided that the equipment of RCTV must be seized and "lent" to TVes so the channel 2 slot will not be empty and people would not get into some deep funk, or withdrawal syndrome.

The Cable system, probably very pissed off at the government for threatening to put cadenas everywhere used the same strategy, that nothing should be changed on cable until rules, laws and regulations are cleared up. Otherwise "general" interest might be affected. The TSJ could not say one thing one day and go against it own precedent barely two month after. Chavismo has not gone that far, yet.....

So the end result, even though the name of RCTV is not in that new lawsuit, is that RCTV remains on the air, and will not transmit cadenas. It seems that the government will have to change the law or do something, or counter appeal or whatever to remove RCTV. Which it will do in due time, and sooner than later.

Meanwhile, even if forced by events and by a minimum of rationality that is left in the judicial system (you can screw whomever you want, but you must do it in a certain order) the government gets a little bonus: it will be able to pretend that the judicial system is independent. Yeah, right... RCTV lost zillions of cases and suddenly one simple delaying cautionary measure will be portrayed as a final proof of Venezuelan separation of powers. Even CNN seemed to buy that line it its preliminary report!!!! But then again CNN is not good in in depth reporting....

More information:

As it turned out Marcel Granier was a scheduled guest at Alo Ciudadano, and he arrived a few minutes before the TSJ decision was announced. Needless to say that Granier gave one of those memorable interviews that should be mandatory watching for any one that wants to know what chavismo is doing to the fabric of our society. As soon as a video appears I will let the readers know.

What did Granier said? In short:

The TSJ decision was obscenely fast. As so many other related RCTV issues are in a deep slumber over some dusty shelf at the TSJ warehouse, today's decision was processed in a very few hours. In fact Granier thinks it must be a record of sorts.

Granier also stated that this decision ONLY benefits the state, NOT RCTV. The reason is very simple: in the rush to shut up RCTV the government made a few mistakes and it realized that following through the decision of shutting up RCTV tonight would bring it a lot of internal trouble with other local TV stations, and even Telesur, that could cost millions in multiple law suits. Thus it was in the best interest for the government to stop for a few days or weeks the closing down of RCTV until it coudl set up some more satisfying scheme. Thus Luisa Morales might be the TSJ head but she just acted like the errand girl of Chavez she is, not the head of a power whose total independence from other powers is the key of any democracy.

Pressed as to why Granier does not try to talk with the government, he reported that no one talks with the government because this one does not agree to any of the meetings that have been asked for by RCTV, the groups of Cable TV operators or any major political operators in Venezuela. In other words, the Chavez administration is acting everyday more and more like an autistic body.

Pressed further, Granier said that the conflict is not between Chavez and RCTV, but between Chavez and Venezuelan society. According to Granier, Chavez deliberately seeks chaos for whatever political objectives he has in mind.

And much more that could bring Granier into judicial trouble, by the way. But this is not anymore the voice of some millionaire losing his business. Not that it matters but I am pretty sure that Granier has a safe retirement package outside of Venezuela. No, what was talking tonight was a man determined to confront head on the government of Chavez with all the risks that this entails to his personal safety. His position is now a political position and as such the escalation is only starting.

-The end-

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