Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The press and the "valija-gate"

So now that we know per court of law that Venezuela is a corrupt government that spreads money and agents around, how is the press reacting to it? Well, it is big news as all major morning editions carry the item. In no particular order (well, in part the order in which I receive my newsletter).

The Wall Street Journal has a short item. It worries about how many other elections have been paid by Chavez. I am sure Maria Anastasia will come up with something shortly.

The New York Times wonder about why the US prosecuted the case since it really was no threat to security: the journalist observes wryly that most evidence was collected at restaurants.... However it is also clear that if the US had done nothing, the parties would have done zero. The story is well summarized. To underline that this trial has brought damage to Chavez it ends the article with a beautiful line on yet another of Chavez cadenas: Then on Monday, as the verdict was being read, Venezuelan broadcasts were preempted by an unrelated television address by Mr. Chavez.

The Washington Post follows a more "political line" citing the defense lawyer. Well, true, it is a political trial, and so what? The felony might be political but it was a felony, no?

The Los Angeles Time, as expected gave it limited coverage (World Briefing). But that is amply compensated by the Miami Herald whoas expected is more attuned to Venezuelan specifics as shown by covering the Chavez cadena in detail. For Phil Gunson there is no doubt, Chavez threw in a stupid cadena to make sure that the verdict result would not be shown live in Venezuela. I think he is on the money.

Dead last the BBC, but at least they covered. But that coverage is more wishy-washy, more like an "Ooops! We should have followed that a little bit closer". Whoever wrote that note is non committal, almost surprised at the result. US papers know exactly what went on, but the UK is, well, far away and maybe they did not realize what was really at stake there, I am afraid to say.

Other news sites tend to rely on the AP news alone so no need to cover for originality. However we can conclude one thing: Venezuela needs to budget yet another wave of cash to counteract the damage of the trial. It will not work but that has never stopped chavismo from wasting money.

PS: for a story of recent corruption in Venezuela Tal Cual has a brief summary today. What has been stolen under Chavez is probably an order of magnitude larger than what has been stolen in ALL preceding elected governments.

-The end-

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