Sunday, March 14, 2010

And now toward the end of free Internet in Venezuela

Today Chavez officially launched his crusade against freedom of Internet.  In another heated speech at the PSUV congress where he goes to make sure they toe the line he said:
"Eso no puede ser así, que transmitan lo que les da le gana, envenenando la mente de mucha gente"
This cannot be, that they transmit whatever they feel like it, poisoning the minds of many people.

Note: "transmitan" in Spanish has many translations, from broadcast to send electricity through cables. In a way it is revealing that Chavez uses "transmitan" for the Web instead of "escriban", write, which would have been the correct word to use. It shows that he really does not quite understand Internet and that it sees it just as another broadcasting system that he should be able to control as he controls the rest, directly or through self censorship.  Or perhaps he is getting very concerned that with Youtube and live podcasts the situation will soon be unmanageable?

Reuters picks it up and also picks it up that Chavez said that German chancellor Merkel also wants more Internet control.  This is misleading, and idiotic, for Reuters to report because for those who know German history well they know that Germany by law must control any Nazi speech wherever this one happens, something that either the advisers of Chavez do not know or do not understand, or both.

But Chavez will use any excuse, any justification to advance any new control policy he needs.  The target here are pages such as Noticiero Digital which was expressly mentioned.  I hate to admit it but quite a few pages of Noticiero Digital are yellow journalism at best and it serves more as a cathartic joint for the opposition than actual news.  I, for one, consult Noticiero Digital rarely, only when a reader asks me an opinion about a given article or when a colleague publishes something in there.  You will notice that I link to it adding in parenthesis "extreme forum".  Not to diminish it, every web page serves a purpose and people have the right to visit Noticiero or this page as they wish and as their taste directs them.

But this latest outburst of Chavez is also reflective of many things.  First, the anti democratic nature of the regime, their really thin, and thinning skin.  Their frustration at not being able to control what people write, already expressed when he ordered his PSUV minions to invade Twitter to little success so far, as far as I can tell.  It reflects their own failure at influencing or at least penetrating Internet as no chavista has been able to write a blog as enduring and as successful as this one, which is not by any means the best blog around nor the most read (though respected enough to scare away trolls).  Even Venezuelanalysis, the most sophisticated effort of chavismo in English could not hide its propaganda nature and was trashed by the Washington Post a few days ago where in the web version of an editorial a link to Venezuelanalysis is included.  In other words, it reflects the frustration of chavismo who cannot pass its message in spite of the huge means it disposes and thus is left with no other option than silencing the competition.

Chavez words were not accidental, they are a new policy announcement.  Soon you can expect legislation, lawsuits or a sabotage or hacking war against Noticiero Digital and Noticias 24, but also against blogs like this one.  Having read Chavez words today I am sure that either this page or Miguel, or Quico or Marta Colmenares and more will soon be excoriated (all listed on the right side).  I am certain that there is already detailed reports at Miraflores about opposition web sites and that priorities are being established.  After all we have already been routinely threatened by professional PSF, in comments, by mail or, e.g., at Oil Wars, another blog unable to police its comment into decency and which was thus used to threaten people through folks that we know are into some governmental payroll.  Fortunately that blog is near death but there are other blogs in Spanish or even Aporrea like page which have already mentioned this blog.

But of course I will continue, even if I must do a Yoani Sanchez solution and go into international hotels to avoid Internet Censorship.  And to make sure that the government has real good reasons to get mad at me, here:

  • Chavez is a tyrant that has not yet reached his full potential. (heard that Sean Penn?)
  • Diosdado Cabello is a major thief of the regime probably having stolen directly or though fronts half a billion dollars.
  • Danilo Anderson has been killed by the regime, probably under the orders of Jose Vicente Rangel or at least somebody of that level.
  • The corruption of the armed force is epochal.
  • The regime has given the country to Cuba and we will never get back a penny of the billions of dollars that were sent over there to prop up an agonizing regime.
  • Lula da Silva has been in business with the regime, not necessarily for his own aim but to deliberately screw up the Venezuelan people and use Venezuela to support his hero Fidel and do all the dirty jobs he did not want to do.  He has abetted the corruption that has come with the Brazilian contracts and thus has contributed to the moral decay of Venezuela.
  • There is probably in my count at least a hundred murders/kidnappings that can be directly traced to political causes favoring the regime.  As such Chavez is also a murderer in addition to the people he had killed in 1992.
  • Chavez has been financing the FARC.

And more, whenever it pleases the regime to want more accusations that can be supported from my side, or form any citizen in Venezuela if we had a judicial system that worked.

I wonder if chavismo is aware of the virulence of right and left wing web sites in the US and how Bush and Obama keep cruising and putting up with the inanities that have been thrown at them.....  but then again for all their faults and alleged "extremism" Bush and Obama were/are democrats all along....  they knew their truth and did not feel like having to impose it the way Chavez is trying to impose his truth.  But people that cannot tolerate criticism to their truth are those that doubt their very own truth.


  1. Well, it was fun while it lasted, maybe your tricky strategy of hiding in plain sight will continue to work. I do so hope so.

    If not, North Florida isn't too crowded, we have seasons and the parking lots aren't full of tractors like in Hogtown.

  2. Chavez comments are picked up by Reuters, AP, etc and at top of list on Google news Venezuela. Not that it matters to him, but his international press has sucked lately and seems to be getting worse. Then again, what happened to Chavez after the Reyes Reyes laptop stories? Not a damn thing. What will happen after this related Spanish judge accusation? Not a damn thing.

  3. Charly2:53 PM

    Daniel, interesting notice from ABN:

    To which Noticiero Digital replied:

    So it seems that they will put the censorship technology in place. Well this is to forget the most ubiquitous of our local characters, "el vivo" who will sell us some satellite bandwidth or rerouted signal from international hotels, etc. The possibilities are endless.

  4. half empty

    thank you but i prefer the pacific northwest :) too many venezuelans in florida already.....

  5. La Maga Lee4:50 PM

    ¿Porque Valdez estuvo en Venezuela? Pués para dar unas clasecitas de como manipular todo y fregar al que no esta de acuerdo. Así que aqui podrán hacer huelga de hambre dirán que son malandros o locos como el Señor Brito (a proposito que hicieron de él) Los medias estan culillos no hablan de esto ni de la Luz que si Esteban de Jesús pone la hora atrás una hora , que tremendo ahorro de electricidad! Pero el Comandante nunca dará su brazo a torcer, así que a unirse y votar por candidatos unicos (Mendoza, Lopez, Borges y tutti cuanti ponganse pilas,el pueblo esta cansado de Uds.

  6. Daniel, always loved reading your view point mate, even when I was in San Felipe working for the sugar mills now taken over by the Chavez.

    Truth be told I think your exaggerating, while I am no fan of Chavez, I don't think he will do anything with the internet. I think he honestly is scared of it, but he knows the backlash will be too great.

  7. What we must do is to send and receive our internet data through a tunnel elsewhere in the world and that can be accomplished in several ways such as satellite internet, a VPN or my favorite since it's free

  8. Anonymous5:18 PM

    Daniel, I'm glad you said this: "Bush and Obama were/are democrats." So many people here in the USA don't believe it. The lies that the US right and left-wing are passing around about each other are unbelievable.

    Fortunately, most of it is hot air, or "slactivism". What the extremists are claiming never happens (Bush was never going to cancel the election; Obama is not going to nationalize everything.)

    Here, the argument about the Internet is should Comcast continue offer the same bandwidth to show movies from Netflix as they do on movies from Hulu.

    Here, the government has no plans to limit either Sean Hannity or Sean Penn's right to be idiots.

  9. Daniel, maybe you want to consider western Canada. Most of the oil expertise that Chavez fired from PDVSA is living and working in Calgary, well paid and well respected, thank you very much.

  10. Meh, the Pacific NW is nice, but yikes, tick hippies everywhere! It's worser than Marion County.

    Anyway, take care of yourself.

  11. Daniel, be realistic, chavistas lack the capacity to do such a thing.

  12. Internet has always been somewhat controlled in public places like libraries and internet cafes in Belarus, but now it looks like Lukashenko will tighten things up a bit too-I guess he and Chavez are metaphorical 'blood brothers'.,,5201531,00.html

    One thing I count on is:
    The Chavez government is inefficient and not able to do anything at all well ( that might be a lucky thing for the opposition in this case), but I am sure Chavez knows that a few crackdowns will inspire a lot of fear.

    Some people seem to think there will be a point in which the masses get fed up and react.I would like to hear a word or 2 from these people about this so I too can know how these people think Venezuelans will react and why ?

  13. AB

    Chavista lack the capacity to do such thing? And that will stop them? Chavez attacked specifically Noticiero Digital which means in his mind that whomever owns that site should go to jail like judge Afiuni.

    Remember, the objective here is not to forbid me to read internet, it is to forbid me to write me on Internet, or to make sure that people in Venezuela do not read what I write. Or something along those lines....

  14. AB

    Chavista lack the capacity to do such thing? And that will stop them? Chavez attacked specifically Noticiero Digital which means in his mind that whomever owns that site should go to jail like judge Afiuni.

    Remember, the objective here is not to forbid me to read internet, it is to forbid me to write me on Internet, or to make sure that people in Venezuela do not read what I write. Or something along those lines....

  15. highhighhi9:52 PM

    A quotation that I remember " a slave is free to think whatever he wants"...of course he must never express these thoughts upon pain of punishment

  16. As I said in my post, if Ramirito y el combo castrista no han podido parar el avance de internet, mucho menos va a poder la caterva de descerebrados chavistas.

    He can throw people in jail, that's easy. He can't prevent publication of incriminating stuff, and that's what has him pissed off.

  17. Charly11:11 PM

    L, not only living and working in Calgary. In fact some already have made it up to the head offices in Toronto. Just for a moment, try to imagine Ramirez running the oil business in Toronto.

    Once Chavez gets his right retribution (he will, he will, he is not made to live forever like Fidel) these people will be ready to come back and run PDVSA the way it should be run, not the socialist way.

  18. Anonymous2:29 AM

    BP Canada, Shell Canada, Imperial Oil, Suncor Oil, Petro-Canada, EnCana, Canadian Natural, Husky Oil, Talisman, Pengrowth.. all (happily) in Calgary.
    has a list, there are 2 here with head offices in other cities, 1 near Calgary, 1 in the atlantic region, and none in Toronto.

    note, not too many of the employees would accept a transfer to Toronto as a promotion, they would see this as a demotion.
    The financial sector offices are there, and "Liberals", we can't be too careful. ;)

    marc in calgary

  19. "Chavez knows that a few crackdowns will inspire a lot of fear."

    I agree with this, and think it's the key. Pick a prime example, punish them, and then wait for the rest to self-censor. Repeat as needed.

    Call it the fig leaf plan - by leaving some out there, it creates a fig leaf of freedom of expression that they can hide behind. (Only the blind believe it, but that's often enough.) It's a solution that doesn't require any technology at all. Get rid of the biggest fish. Of course, as we see with RCTV and Globo, after a while the smaller fish that got away gets recognized as the new big fish and becomes a target.

  20. IMHO it was clear that the goverment sent someone to ND to spread false rumors and have some excuses to intervene Internet.

  21. Charly2:27 PM

    Marc, I stand corrected.


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