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Freedom Of Speech And Press In Venezuela: In Danger Of Disappearing

1348 words - 5 pages

An awful reality, the freedom of speech and press in Venezuela is in danger of disappearing. In Venezuela, if someone has a different opinion of the President of the country, Hugo Chavez, could be penalized. Can the opposition movements, including student force, change this current reality? What can the common citizens do against the government when every day it is capable of setting down more severe restrictions to silence the press? Should the opposition parties keep fighting as they have been for the last 10 years?
In the last 5 to 6 years, the government has been able to control the independence of the media with radical and unconstitutional restrictions. It has been one event followed by others, such as the closure of Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV), and the intention to do the same to Globovision, both are main private TV channels in the country, the closure of more than 50 radio stations, the constant violence against journalists and the impunity of which Chavez followers enjoy, the developed penal trials against journalists, defenders of human rights, or even public officials that criticize the government.
Through the years, Chavez government opposition movements and student force have became stronger and gained support from many national and international non-government organizations interested in the Venezuela crisis, therefore, even if it seems impossible, opposition movements, including student force and common-civil people should keep fighting for having freedom of speech and press.
In May 2007, RCTV was closed for the first time when the government decided not to renew the broadcast license and this popular and main TV channel was off the air after 53 years of continuous programming. Two months later, this private channel was able to be on the air again through private TV signal, cable, and changing its name to RCTV Internacional, but in February 2010, the government closed it again. The cable TV, Radio Caracas Television International, is taken off the air. This private TV channel is critical of the government of Hugo Chavez, who maintains that the TV station violated the law by refusing to broadcast a presidential speech (El Universal).
For several years the government has been trying to shutdown Globovision, which as of today is the sole anti-government national news TV channel. The TV channel "is affected by multiple penal and administrative processes urged by the government for causing its closing and maybe its economic crash”(El Nacional).
During the third trimester of 2009, the Venezuelan government closed 34 radio stations, supposedly based on legal administrative procedures. The government stated that some of the radio stations did not have their broadcasting licenses renewed and others transferred them illegally to new owners. On the evening of 31 July 2009, the minister for public works and housing, who is also the director of the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL), Diosdado Cabello, announced...

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