UPDATED. In the Washington Post editorial today I read the name of Laureano Marquez, the Friday's editorial writer at Tal Cual. The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, has awarded him a recognition, along other journalists from such dangerous places as Iran or Ethiopia. In fact the CPJ entry on that subject has the picture of Laureano. We need to congratulate the Post on deeming such awards worthy of an editorial, the more so that Chavez has this week renewed his attack on Globovision, this time probably meaning to close it once and for all. In fact, Tal Cual today tells us that this afternoon a long cadena is expected, a cadena that Chavez might use for another series of obscene attacks against the US. (1)
Apparently Chavez is very, very miffed at a recent hearing in the US Congress (not yet in GOP hands, you know) where the anti US role of Venezuela and other ALBA countries was examined. Whatever that event/hearing was, it showcased the attitude toward ALBA countries of the incoming GOP controlled House.
One of the witnesses attendees was Guillermo Zuloaga, the head of Globovision who must now live in exile because he has no civil rights guaranteed inside Venezuela where any opponent of the regime can be thrown in jail at Chavez wishes. Case Afiuni anyone? Because it does not matter that there are weird and self contradictory exceptions like Trinidad Jimenez, foreign minister of Spain, the world at large knows quite well what is going on in Venezuela and hearings like the one in the US congress on November 17 are sure to be more frequent as chavismo becomes repressive enough, even in soccer stadiums and subway stations.
Globovision owner had no qualms in replying the recent attacks of Chavez this week. In his reply Zuloaga even noted that he wanted Chavez alive and well because like many Venezuelans, including yours truly, WE WANT CHAVEZ ALIVE SO THAT ONE DAY WE CAN SEAT HIM IN THE ACCUSED BENCH FOR ALL THE CRIMES AGAINST VENEZUELA HE HAS COMMITTED. There, clear enough? Zuloaga also invited Chavez to send all the evidence he has against him to the IACHR tribunal so that this one can compare it with the evidence Zuloaga offered. That is, Zuloaga asked Chavez to stop hiding behind his goons in control of the judicial system of Venezuela. You can read the complete reply here, in Spanish, sorry.
Objectivity having absent since almost the beginning within chavismo, needless to say that the words of Zuloaga in DC last week are interpreted as treason to the fatherland since any attack against Chavez is an attack against the fatherland. Louis the XIV with his "l'état c'est moi" would have had it so easy! For Chavez the words of Zuloaga are the excuse he wanted to launch an attack on the remaining semi free media, and the vigorous campaign in chavista media, almost on cue, is proof enough. The setting and reason of the meeting are irrelevant, it was a meeting of the "ultra derecha", ultra right and that is that.
It is essential to note, as I wrote extensively on it a few days ago, that Chavez is proceeding to a slow moving coup and that in the logic of a coup, slow of fast, closing crtical media is a must. It seems that Globovision turn is finally around the corner. With public protests reaching disquieting peaks, with an economy remaining tanked, with corruption crudely exposed and with Makled revealing the extensive drug trafficking inside Venezuela all but officially state sponsored it was time for Chavez to make a move. Even if closing Globovision would be widely unpopular it would have the benefit to distract the opinion from the other scandals besotting Chavez. As the old railway sign in French wagons said, you know, when you could still open the windows, "un train peut en cacher un autre", a train may hide another one.
Chavez is in a make or break mode and thus extremely dangerous, and not only for the US, but mostly for us, Venezuelans, who will suffer for decades the consequences of his misrule.
Someone should point to Chavez that the more media he closes the more he improves the ratings of the ones still not closed. Closing Globovision will only make people willing to read El Nacional or El Universal, or this blog for that matter. Chavez is not done creating more and more heroes of freedom of expression. Zuloaga might fall but Chavez will need to go as far as tracking down opposition bloggers if he wants to hide his misdeeds.
UPDATE. The cadena came, with lots of Chavez kissing babies on his way to the Assembly. I am speechless: Eva Golinger is the featured speaker, rehashing all of her history of NED et al, from which SHE NEVER got any mileage and even less any inculpation, and yet, that foreign tart, demanding that the regime publishes laws that will put to silence any dissident that could be suspected of receiving any foreign help whatsoever. After all, she has never offered any real proof that could be sustained in a court of justice so if her proposed legislation passes she just needs to say that Daniel Duquenal is paid by the US to have me in trouble. No we are waiting for Chavez speech but I have enough. At the end Eva went all the way, ALL THE WAY, sycophant. She has no shame whatsoever.
1) The cadena of today will come from the Venezuelan Congress where Chavez has cited all his current clapping representatives, all chavista governors, etc, etc... We might in fact get some major announcement besides insults against the US or Globovision. He could demand anything, from the closing of Globovision, to breaking up with the OAS and the IACHR.
Then again, as it is more and more the case, he might chicken out and limit himself to an endless tirade of insults.... but I personally think that time is pushing him on the ropes and he will push forward, even if he looks everyday more like a mad boxer locked up in a dark room, hitting everywhere in the dark.