I transalted this article written by Nicaraguan reporter German Novelli for today’s Tal Cual newspaper. It speaks for itself.
This may happen (From my exile)
On January 10th. 1978 Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal, director of newspaper La Prensa and martyr of public freedom was assassinated in Nicaragua. A year later, in the Riguero neighborhood of Managua, two US reporters, from the ABC news team, were detained by National Guard troops. The cameraman managed to stay back half a block away and, hidden behind some bushes, taped one of the most negative images of the war that would completely wipe out Somoza.
Reporter Bill Stewart was forced by a guardsman to lay face down on the pavement and, without any type of compassion, he was shot by two rifle bullets in the head.
The attacks by Anastasio Somoza began with sanctions against the printed media that was denouncing the abuses. Later he arrested the Editor of the newspaper la Prensa, who suffered, before being assassinated, jail, tortures and exile. Somoza had as his motto:” To my friends, the honors, to the indifferent, the stick, to my enemies, the bullets”
As to the televised media, Stewart was assassinated as revenge for showing on the screen the horrors that the regime was imposing on the people.
The intimidating visits to Venezuelan TV stations, the threat that there will be no dollars for newspapers to buy newsprint, the Content Law that will be discussed by the National Assembly and the repeated announcements by Hugo Chavez to shutdown TV stations are the first steps. Afterwards, more abuses will come. It would not be strange if Gustavo Cisneros is detained for treason and Miguel Henrique Otero assassinated. Neither that the deaths of Virgilio Fernandez and Jorge Tortosa (reporters killed while covering demonstrations) will be followed by those of others.
They are notes of history. A history that is repeating in Venezuela. Chavez, just like Somoza, argues Constitutional reasons to stay in power, just like Somoza, ignoring the majority that rejects him. Hugo Chávez, just like Somoza, has turned the National Guard into his storm troopers to quiet their voices and run over defenseless women.
Chavez, just like Somoza, has proven that he is not willing to leave stone over stone in the places where the opposition lives. Then, gentlemen of the media, my fellow reporters: Known things are silenced and because they are silenced they are simply forgotten.