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The Nation does Venezuela

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday June 28, 2007 01:44 PM

I'm on an lbo-talk jag this week, I guess. One of my favorite contributors there is Yoshie Furuhashi, who also writes for MRZine. Today in lbo-talk she contributed the following:

When "social democrats of mediocre caliber" take a break from the hard work of helping the empire destroy the Middle East's only republican democracy, what do they do? They get on the case of Venezuela. Naturally.


Revolution in Venezuela?
by Joaquín Villalobos

Hugo Chávez has committed a grave error in closing down the opposition TV station, which has been on the air a half-century. Like it or not, this was not a frontal attack on the economic elite but rather a blow to the cultural identity of millions of Venezuelans--and it will have severe consequences for the government. Trying to replace popular soap operas and game shows watched by the poor with pathetic "revolutionary" programming is as bad as leaving them without food.

The Nation identifies [author] Joaquín Villalobos only as "top commander and strategist of the leftist FMLN in El Salvador, [who] was a principal in the 1992 peace accords," but Villalobos, having left the FMLN (more than a decade ago), became a hard-line critic of the Left and tried (but failed) to get a centrist party called the Partido Democrático really off [the] ground in El Salvador. He is now a friend of Álvaro Uribe* and a member of Inter-American Dialog:


What's Inter-American Dialog's agenda for Venezuela? Among other things, it aims to:

Closely track political developments in Venezuela and publicly identify violations of democratic norms and practices....(Michael Shifter, "Hugo Chávez: A Test for U.S. Policy / Hugo Chávez: Un Desafío para la Política Exterior de los Estados Unidos," A Special Report of the Inter- American Dialogue, March 2007, http://www.thedialogue.org/publications/2007/spring/venezuela.pdf, http://www.thedialogue.org/publications/2007/spring/chavez_esp.pdf)


*"Starting in 1992, Villalobos founded the Democratic Party and converted to pragmatism, harshly criticizing his former comrades from the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation. Nowadays he's a 'mediator of conflicts' and advisor to Uribe, the Colombian president who's so friendly to the paramilitaries and has shadowy links with the world of drug-traffickers." (Higinio Polo, "La lucidez del converso," El Viejo Topo, 14 October 2004, http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=6000).

Comments (3)

I'd say that Americans have no cause to admonish Chavez for not renewing RCTV's license, as has recently become popular (esp. among liberals). Internationally, we have a history of, among other things, bombing TV stations, such as Serb National Television (as Wesley Clark likes to brag) and of course Al-Jazeera (as well two other journalistic sites in Bagdad on the same day); and, on the domestic front, the FCC does everthing in it's power to prevent low-power FM community radio and makes sure the prime bands are soley in the hands of commercial channels.

Maybe shutting down RCTV wasn't the best thing Chavez could have done, but this misdemeanor infraction on the part of Venezuela pales in comparison to our imperial crimes, crimes not only inflicted on our own population but on the poor around the world.

Had Ted Turner used TBS to try overthrowing the Clinton administration, how long would it have been before the pwoggies at La Nation were calling for him to be sent to Levenworth for life?

Well, at least now I know where Furuhashi ended up. I hadn't seen any action at her blog in ages.

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