Government shuts down RCTV cable programming

January 24, 2010

In an act of revenge, censorship and just sheer personal vendetta, the Venezuelan Government shut down the cable signal of RCTV tonight, because the broadcasting company refused to carry Chavez’ “cadenas”, which force all TV stations to carry Chavez’ speeches whenever he so desires. (Today, he forced a few minutes of “cadena” while holding a rally for his party PSUV in Caracas, in a clear illegal act of abuse of power and Government resources)

Recall that RCTV had been shut down as a local broadcaster and its equipment confiscated in 2007, when Chavez “decided” he had to shut down the TV station locally. Its equimpent and property has yet to be returned to its rightful owners, while another Government media outlet uses it in its programming (Even if very few people watch it!)

A couple of months ago the Government issued a decree taylor made for RCTV International which managed to keep afloat via cable TV and satellite TV. According to this decree, if 70% or more of the programming was made in Venezuela, the cable system and satellite system would have to carry Chavez’ speeches.

As I arrived back at home tonight at midnight, I was surprised to hear a loud pot banging in my nighborhood as I entered my home, RCTV’s signal had been shutdown at midnight and Twitter was very active talking about the news (#freemediave).

Another day of abuse of power, censorship and resentment by Chavez and his cronies. Another day in which the rights of Venezuelans have been trampled upon.

And some still dare call this a democracy.

83 Responses to “Government shuts down RCTV cable programming”

  1. Alek Boyd Says:

    I see, you will not come up with evidence, because there isn’t any.

    Well done Arturito, thanks again.

    PS: any luck telling officials in my country to send me my passport?

  2. moctavio Says:

    Yeah, pretty normal in a democracy if you knew what one was, Gov. confiscates private equimpent, Supreme Court agrees, no compensation ever. Sure Turo. Very normal “judiciary” behavior.


    7. The political dissenter/martyr troll

    If your blog is interesting, chances are it’s because you take a stand on things. You have political views you feel passionate about. You build a community of people who are interested in these things and who interact thoughtfully and productively about said things. Heck, some people even manage to disagree civilly. Until political dissenter/martyr troll comes around, starting fights with everyone in a comment thread, spewing its passionate anti-whatever-you’re-into views all over the productive discussion. This troll will likely get mouthy about how pathetic a blogger is for not entertaining dissenting opinions, all the while only being interested in hearing itself talk (or type, as it were). Political dissenter/martyr troll, what good do you think you are doing? Whose mind do you think you are changing? Troll, you are an asshole.

  3. Arturo Says:

    Boyd – it is not possible to answer your question since it is irrelevant. The judiciary does not have any responsability in granting or renewing broadcast licenses. That is what Conatel does. RCTV’s license expired in May 2007. Conatel was not obliged to renew it. Same as the FCC in your country, the USA.

    George – the correct term in English is “sequestered” for the good of the Venezuelan people so that TVES could be broadcast nationawide.

    RCTV appealed to the TSJ and the decision was to reaffirm Conatel’s responsability and authority. Now, if you disagree with that maybe you should write to M. Granier and advise him.

    Let’s hope the poison broadcast by RCTV stays off the air and cable for good.

  4. George Says:

    If I understand correctly that document proves what Arturo said was not true yesterday: That the Government confiscated RCTV’s property and equipment.

    Arturo: You’ve struck out!!!

  5. Alek Boyd Says:

    Wow Arturito, it took you almost 24 hours to come up with the goods, and still you couldn’t do it. Since you seem to have a bit of an understanding-of-plain-English problem, here goes the original question again:

    Arturo, please place here evidence showing that the decision of not renewing RCTV’s broadcasting license was taken following due process, by an independent body of the judiciary, after hearing what all parties involved needed to say. Otherwise, go back to your world and make sure you upheld chavista law.

  6. bjohns15 Says:

    It is relevant to what is going on in venezuela, but it pales in comparison in terms of severity. If, for example, the SC decision was the reverse, the ban on corporate free speech would only be applicable to 30 days before an election and, furthermore, the speech would only be banned if it is directly supporting or undermining a candidate up for election.

  7. bjohns15 Says:


    I suggest you read the dissent by Justice Stevens and the Syllabus(summary). It is not as straightforward as you put it.

  8. moctavio Says:

    Troll Alert in the previous post:

    7. The political dissenter/martyr troll

    If your blog is interesting, chances are it’s because you take a stand on things. You have political views you feel passionate about. You build a community of people who are interested in these things and who interact thoughtfully and productively about said things. Heck, some people even manage to disagree civilly. Until political dissenter/martyr troll comes around, starting fights with everyone in a comment thread, spewing its passionate anti-whatever-you’re-into views all over the productive discussion. This troll will likely get mouthy about how pathetic a blogger is for not entertaining dissenting opinions, all the while only being interested in hearing itself talk (or type, as it were). Political dissenter/martyr troll, what good do you think you are doing? Whose mind do you think you are changing? Troll, you are an asshole.

  9. Kolya Says:

    Alek, you may well be correct about Venezuela and the right. I’m not qualified to say much about it. Frankly, I was not even thinking about Venezuela in particular, so my point was largely irrelevant to what you and Miguel were talking about.

  10. deananash Says:

    bjohns15, the decision of the majority was not based on whether or not corporate participation would corrupt the system. For starters, the system is already corrupt, at least in terms of people seeking their own self interests. (I’m not even sure that qualifies as corruption. Here I’m pretty sure that Alek would agree with me, that’s just basic human nature. How can that be wrong?)

    Anyway, it was based on this simple premise: free speech either exists, or it doesn’t. (That’s why Miguel allows Arturo to use his blog to voice his opinions, tiring as they are to most of us. Or mine, for that matter.)

    And that is exactly why this ruling is relevant to Venezuela. Just as one can’t be “a little bit pregnant”, one can’t have “limits” on the content of free speech.

    The original case brought before the court was about a corporation which tried to air (purchase air time) a movie that was critical of then presidential candidate (and U.S. Senator) Hillary Clinton. The government blocked that airing, under the guise that it would unduly influence the election.

    In other words, the government had to protect us from our own, ignorant selves. No thanks.

    And in light of today’s technology (internet, twitter) there really is no danger of corporations dominating the debate. On the contrary, large corporations are “on the ropes” in terms of dominating conversations. The web has become a great democratizer, allowing everyone to voice their opinions.

  11. Alek Boyd Says:

    Miguel, PJ has not made its own the free markets issue, you’re right about that. When I worked with Rosales, I heard very often mentions to “libre mercado”, but libre has a different meaning in Venezuela, as you know. Still, I wouldn’t say Rosales is a left winger, or Borges. Within their parties/domains they have the same disposition towards competition, which is a characteristic of free market capitalism, as Chavez. They are all caudillos, and they would allow competitors to compete freely only in certain terms, that do not endanger their power hold. Their personal deeds puts them very far from what I understand a true lefty would be.

    Kolya, I don’t understand your comment about expecting you and I to agree, I think we do, more than what you care to admit. I am old enough to know that this is not about an either or discussion, however based on what my experiences in Venezuela are, I would not dare say that the right has no representation in my country. As I have argued, I think is rather the opposite.

  12. bjohns15 Says:

    Damn Ideologues. You know, Arturo, that Senor Octavio is being quite nice to you, considering that he could just prevent your comments from appearing.

    To all who commented on the U.S. Supreme Court decision:

    The principal problem was that the Majority’s holding was supported by no evidence. i.e. they conclusorily declared that unlimited donations by for-profit corporations will not lead to corruption, or even the appearance of corruption.

  13. Kolya Says:


    I don’t expect that you and I will agree, but let me be clear that I didn’t make any reference to “the collective” in what I wrote about our prehistorical and preagricultural ancestors. I made a point to say that those were small groups (no more than 150 people, usually under a 100.) And, yes, you are certainly correct that they were not egalitarian toward other groups. I neither stated nor implied anything to the contrary. What I wrote has nothing to do with some sort of socialist collective encompassing humanity. My point was simply that thanks to our evolutionary development as a social species we have both greedily selfish and egalitarian impulses. These two features of our nature are at a tension. It will always be like that. In any event, it would be an anachronism to apply to our hunter-gatherers ancestors labels such as Right or Left.

    Just in case, let us remember that Right/Left language predated Marx, and that much of the left was never Marxist. All too often the Right/Left labels are used to caricature and distort our political opponents. Regardless of our personal ideological leanings, however, the world as it is shows that it is not an either/or proposition. Plenty of prosperous liberal democracies in today’s world demonstrate that a strong safety net is compatible with the market system, private property, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and so on. In other words, despite of what the Marxists hold, you can have a reasonably egalitarian society together with a healthy market system. And despite what some right-wingers say, freedom and private property can coexist with a strong safety net. But we love to distort. For example, in Venezuela or Cuba anyone who opposes Chavez or Castro will end up being labeled as a right-winger. And in the US supporters of universal health insurance are sometimes labeled as left-wing radicals.

  14. moctavio Says:

    Alek: I have never heard anything in PJ’s speech that would lead me to believe they believe or even understand or promote markets. They do promote law and order and other things I admire, but they also like the State to do things for them. Again, I know of no party in Venezuela that truly believes the State should do as least as possible.

    Venezuelans may be individualistic, but when it comes to political ideas they are Cepalistas at heart.

    I agree with the comment above, you want a strong Government, but a limited one.

  15. Michel Says:

    Hmmm… Let’s see… Commenting on something that might be considered kinda old… The only 2 parties that could be considered as “right wing” (something that disappeared back in 1950’s) are the Partido Republicano of Zulia and the still not established Partido Liberal of Carabobo; all other parties in Venezuela are based on the so called “left wing”. Another point is that “strong” government has nothing to do with “big” government. You can have a very limited government and it be strong, whereas you can have a big government and it be weak.

  16. moctavio Says:

    Arturo. Since you are so ignorant, I will let you check it, why should I, it is all in this blog, I have a track record, you only have a trolling track record your selective memory is known to all of us, I am not talking about trasnmission towers. You are a troll, that is all you do. You are a fanatic with no intent other than discredit. Styart your blog, PLEASE.

    Here is your definition again:

    7. The political dissenter/martyr troll

    If your blog is interesting, chances are it’s because you take a stand on things. You have political views you feel passionate about. You build a community of people who are interested in these things and who interact thoughtfully and productively about said things. Heck, some people even manage to disagree civilly. Until political dissenter/martyr troll comes around, starting fights with everyone in a comment thread, spewing its passionate anti-whatever-you’re-into views all over the productive discussion. This troll will likely get mouthy about how pathetic a blogger is for not entertaining dissenting opinions, all the while only being interested in hearing itself talk (or type, as it were). Political dissenter/martyr troll, what good do you think you are doing? Whose mind do you think you are changing? Troll, you are an asshole.

  17. Alek Boyd Says:

    Arturito, still waiting on that evidence…

  18. Arturo Says:

    Octavio – the Gaceta Offical regarding the transmission towers were published in 1979 and 1981 if my memory serves me correctly. Google them and see for yourself.

    Be kind enough to provide an objective link regarding the confiscation of RCTV equipment in 2007 – this is completely new and probably an invention.

    I am not trolling but the fact is that you cannot stand people debunking your arguments. In addition, it is easy insult people as you always do when they provide real arguments which you found it difficult to handle. I thought that you would be more mature than that…but it appears that I was wrong.

    Regarding problems in Las Mercedes – there were also people in the street in Chacao at 02.30pm and studemts from Monte Avila tried to block the Cota Mil this morning around 9am.

  19. Isabel Says:

    Hey, Arturo the twerp is back, almost missed him because I was not going to check all comments to see if Arturo the Seal was back. Keep applauding the revolution Arturito, you sound more and more idiotic everytime. Congrats on the descrpition above, fits ypu perfectly. Keep clapping like a foquita.

  20. Alek Boyd Says:

    deananash, we are in agreement, I think you put it best though, in your second paragraph, what a succinct, elegant and precise way to define that rabble.

    Kolya, we are in disagreement. Humans are naturally what leftist would consider right wing: i.e. preservation of self over collective. I’d say more, I’d say collective is a fabrication devoid of real meaning, for what is collective? Who makes part of it, who gets to decide whether an individual is part of it? Individuals of a given collective will undoubtedly show empathy, and will even behave in egalitarian manner with members of THEIR collective. But that does not apply to other collectives and its members. I don’t think I should bore you with stories of tribal rivalries from history, when neither Rand nor Marxist had produced their work. I totally agree with you re human nature, we haven’t changed that much, and that’s why I say that this bullshit of collective wellbeing has no legs to stand on. Chavez is without a doubt a great leader for chavistas, who have suspended disbelief and have abandoned human’s inherent capacity to question. But that collectivity is just one, of many. Their lack of care for other collectives is reciprocal among many different groups. For there are others who wouldn’t show the slightest sign of remorse if he gets struck by lightning tomorrow. That is why I maintain that they are neither socialist (in the political meaning), nor egalitarian. The same applies to the opposition.

  21. dillis Says:

    Globovision is basically shut down as well, as it cannot show the problems in Las Mercedes this afternoon en vivo

  22. deananash Says:

    Alek, I was only shocked that you were saying Venezuelans are “right wing” without attaching the caudillo label. That seems to me to be the natural way to classify them. Anyway, I agree with wholeheartedly with your second analysis.

    “Socialists” (and Communists) rarely actually believe in their tripe. If they did, then NOTHING is stopping them from donating from their own wealth – except their own greed. Show me the ones who do, and then I’ll believe that they are sincere. Sincerely wrong, but sincere.

    China is far more Capitalist today than even America. China’s biggest problem is the same as EVERYONE’s (including America and Venezuela): EDUCATION (or the lack thereof).

  23. Kolya Says:

    Referring to many comments back, we cannot deduce from human nature that humans are naturally rightists or leftists. Normal humans have both self-interested and egalitarian impulses. We are self-centered, but we are also very social animals. For the vast majority of our time as a species we lived as hunter-gatherers in groups that usually did not exceed 150 people. And these groups were highly egalitarian. But this was no utopist egalitarianism. Because of our human selfish tendencies, it was always a watchful egalitarianism–lest someone gets away with more than their share. Another “equalizer” in those days was that no single individual could accumulate an inordinate amount of goods–they were only able to accumulate what they could carry on their own backs. This, of course, changed with the development of agriculture and the advent of civilization (cities, states, and all that), but “human nature” in itself did not change that much. It is neither Ayn Rand, nor Karl Marx.

  24. Alek Boyd Says:

    BTW Arturito: thanks for proving my argument.

  25. Alek Boyd Says:

    Right, in that model country where the government regime upholds the his law above all else, the telecom regulator can also adopt judiciary roles.

    PS: could you ask the authorities of my country (the USA) to send me my passport? I must have lost it somewhere…

  26. Arturo Says:

    Boyd – it is not the job of the judiciary to decide whehter broadcast licenses are renewed or not. You know this very well so stop throwing red herrings into the argument. The decision lies with Conatel just as similar decisions lie with the FCC in your country, the USA.

    Octavio – the lies you are writing about the transmission towers used by RCTV was cleared up years ago. These transmission towers were state property and never belonged to RCTV. In fact there are two Gaceta oficial confirming this precise point.

    BTW – stick to the subject of the post and obey your own blog rules.

  27. Alek Boyd Says:

    Arturo, please place here evidence showing that the decision of not renewing RCTV’s broadcasting license was taken following due process, by an independent body of the judiciary, after hearing what all parties involved needed to say. Otherwise, go back to your world and make sure you upheld chavista law.

  28. Arturo Says:

    In the Press conference on Saturday night Conatel stated that the channels concerned had not passed one cadena and not classifying their programming. Nothing was said about what happened 4 months ago. I saw the press conference live on TV.

    BTW – there was a statement from the service propviders (cable companies) that they were also obliged to remove channels not obeying local Venezuelan regulations and that’s what happened.

    If these channels agree to obey the law they will be put back on the air. The other alternative is to change their programming ot less than 70% national production and then they can be treated as international chaneels as is Venevision+. It’s that simple.

    If Marcel Granier sticks with what he said and refuses to broadcast government stuff on his channel, that’s not a problem either. He can continue to boradcast in Miami and Colombia but not in Venezuela. It is his decision. No one is closing down his company. He continues to produce programs and sell them and broadcast out side of venezuela. Good for him.

  29. Lendy Araujo Says:

    upheld the law!!!!, yeah right! you are right. Chávez uses the Law at his convenience at all times…besides do not forget he wanted to change the consitution so as to put in place the communist regime, but the people in the referemdum said: NO, but he does not care about that and he is issuing new rules and regulations using the Asamblea Nacional (congress9, because is mostly his people in that institution….in few words he is doing “lo que le da la gana”, whatever he wants, (he said so and he is doing so), what a democrat President!

  30. Lendy Araujo Says:

    You are right Arturo, but due to that publication on the Gaceta, they used just to take the new legal stuff, but applied their reasons based in 4 months ago. I mean they said that RCTV is not complying with Law but based in 4 months ago transgressions. That my friend is apply the retroactivity to the Law.

  31. Alek Boyd Says:

    Yes Arturo, that’s what the Chavez regime does most: upheld the law. A model country with a model leader, no doubt.

  32. Lendy Araujo Says:

    then let them go to the relevant authorities and tribunals.???????????
    what?, no Rule of Law in Venezuela…That is waste of time and effort, they only have to do it just to report it, but nothing is going to happen….No way my friend…there is no power separation in Venezuela…where do you live? I imagine not here in Venezuela…

  33. Arturo Says:

    Lenny – what on earth are you talking about? There is no retroactivity. The law wa spublished in the Gaceta Oficial on Thursday last week and the six channels taken off the air did not obey it and just ignored it.

  34. Lendy Araujo Says:

    Right Alek, you´ve just name it!!!

  35. Arturo Says:

    Boyd – don’t veer off the point. You know what I wrote is true and it is the goverment’s obligation to uphold the law. If opposition groups have complaints about any transgressions by the government, as you pathetically imply, then let them go to the relevant authorities and tribunals.

  36. Lendy Araujo Says:

    There is something very important not mentioned. The retroactivity of the law The government created a law to their convenience and applied it to RCTV. There is no rule of law in Venezuela. The leader uses the law at will. That is a fact!
    Besides remember what the bloodiest dictator in Latin America: Trujillo in the Dominican Republic said: “To my friend, everything!, For my enemy, The Law”

  37. Alek Boyd Says:

    Right Arturo, now Venezuela is a model country where everyone, especially chavistas and their supreme leader, upheld rule of law.

  38. Arturo Says:

    Let’s get the facts straight. The cable companies and DirecTV removed the signal of 6 channels around midnight on Saturday after Diodado of Conatel said in a press conference that the service providers would be santioned if they did not remove them. This was no arbitary decision. In the Gaceta Oficial on Thurday it stated thae list of cable channels now subjct to the Ley Resorte (broadcasting law) which means that they have to obey it. This does not only include passing government brodacasts but also stating the content of programs, not showing violence at certain times of the day and passing the National Hymn at 6am and midnight. None of these channels obeyed this law – are they above the law? No, not at all.

    If these channels contact Conatel and give guarantees that they will adhere to the Ley Resorte then Conatel will give permission for them to be switched back on by the cable and satellite channels.

    There’s a general feeling in the comments section that channels can do what they like in Venezuela and this is no longer the case. There are also laws for cable in Colombia and Venezuela is following that example.

    RCTV is no longer classified as an “International” channel and if it wants to broadcast again in Venezuela then it will have to adhere to the laws. If not, then let it stay international in Colombia and elsewhere where it will also have to obey local regulations.

    Note that Venevision+ has had no problems. Why? Since its programming is less than 70% made in Venezuela and so is not obliged to follow the Ley Resorte. RCTV will have to change its programming or back down. There is only one winner in this situation – Conatel and the government and you can scream and protest all you want – most Venezuelans want laws and structure in society and no the chaos which existed for many years where the Tv did whatever it wanted to the dtriment of the public’s state of mental health.

  39. Alek Boyd Says:

    deanash, I am not mincing any words, nor do I think that jiec’s arguments invalidate mine in any way.

    Venezuela is indeed the land of the caudillo, where every individual is as much a caudillo as society allows him or her to be, as much as the extent of his or her skills. Every Venezuelan is a caudillo in its own sphere of influence, be it home, work, marital relationship, etc. Men are macho vernaculos que no se dejan tocar la cara, and women are cuaimas que no se dejan montar la pata. How can such individual behaviour, both in male and females, explain the collective fuck up of allowing someone like Chavez, or CAP, or Caldera, or Perez Jimenez, or, or… run the country the way they have? For precisely because is the land of the caudillo, I have concluded that left wing politics do not even begin to be a useful or accurate description of our idiosyncrasy. In Venezuela, anyone, given the opportunity, would turn into a Chavez, the difference is, some wait to jump at the opportunity and some create opportunities. Put Chavez, and pretty much all the rest of the caudillos that have ruled our politics, in the latter bracket. They are all caudillos, they are all after personal, rather than collective, power. That in my book is the very definition of profit-driven conservatism, i.e. right wing (where profit is not necessarily related to financial matters), and not hippy, collective-welfare, socialist bullshit. Once in power they will do their utmost to maintain their status quo, at the detriment of society.

    So, again, I don’t buy for a minute that Venezuelans are progressive left wingers, preoccupied for social issues. They say they are, though their individual actions prove, to me at least, that they are very far from being, and behaving, like they are. The example that best illustrates my point are chavistas: all talk about a new world, socialism, egalitarism and all that crap, and stealing the country blind, for, I stress, PERSONAL rather than collective gain. But then I have also been to that paragon of socialism: Cuba. They are all equal all right, that is all are equally fucked and destitute, and only the party apparatchiks get to live life as human beings. The day the Castros aren’t longer in power, Cuba will become the most capitalist country on earth. I reckon the same applies to the country where you live, but please do correct me if I’m wrong.

    Franklin’s quote apply equally to the majority of citizens of most nations. To conclude, being left wing, in my humble opinion, goes against one of the most basic tenets of all human beings -self preservation- and that is precisely why it can not claim success anywhere in the world. The majority of people are not willing to trade self comfort for collective comfort, the majority of people are not willing to have less so that the collective will have more, it’s a model that goes against human nature.

  40. Lendy Araujo Says:

    At Saint Mary University in Anzoátegui state 2 detained students 10 hurt reported

  41. Lendy Araujo Says:

    Caracas Metropolitan Police using tear gas against peaceful protesters at Monteávila University, also using the “water truck2 against students..many injured students

  42. Lendy Araujo Says:

    Hello all of you…Greetings!
    At this time there are many protests in the whole country (universities).
    the protests are caused by the RCTV shut down and the people´s solidarity with the TV station.
    Our people are aware of the situation and are looking for a change.

  43. deananash Says:

    Alek Boyd, I’m shocked that you believe that most Venezuelans are “right wing”. I think that jiec offers a more cogent view of how the Venezuelan mind works.

    Now, if what you meant was that many Venezuelans prefer a caudillo type of government, then yes, that is right wing, and I understand your arguments better (and can even agree with them.) But why not just come out and express it that way? You’re not known to mince words.

    Benjamin Franklin (one of the wisest Americans to have ever lived) said it best: “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.” In my opinion, on the left or the right, this quote applies to the majority of Venezuelans. (America, thankfully, not yet a majority.)

  44. Alek Boyd Says:

    Well, I think you are right, only to a certain extent.

    PJ stands for economic freedom, private property, justice for all, etc., and those are concepts that aren’t certainly leftist if the understanding of left is whatever Chavez is doing. However at the individual level, I would challenge your argument by saying that most Venezuelans I know, for instance, don’t like to pay taxes and would do whatever within their power to not do so altogether; I’d say that presented with a choice of being employee or self-employed in their own business most Venezuelans will go for the latter; most people hate State intervention in their affairs, and while they enjoy the freebies thinking these are god given rights, I don’t think for one minute Venezuelans particularly support a strong, all-intervening, communist type of State, in fact they declare against it repeatedly in polls; Venezuelans are fiercely against collective property; so while at the collective level they could be defined as left I don’t think that applies at the individual level.

    When one analyses the overarching rhetoric of the principal political parties and its leadership of the past 50 years, social programs were always part of the policy. This does not mean that this is a feature of left wing ideology exclusively. But when one sees the individual behaviour of those very leaders, and their actions, one can see a clear contrast between left wing policy and right wing action. I guess what I am trying to get at is that such definitions no longer applied, and hardly serve to define our politics any longer. To those who say that Chavez is a socialist, I would say he is, only partly. If one where to define him according to amount of time devoted to particular issues, I would say his approach is that of a right wing: ensure there is enough money available for adventures, and if there’s something left, than throw some at the poor and disenfranchised.

    When talking about the opposition, the same applies. So in my perhaps misguided view, most Venezuelans are, above all else, what one could define as conservative, i.e. right wing.

  45. moctavio Says:

    What party represents the “right” in Venezuela other than fringe groups? What party promotes in Venezuela what you could consider to be right wing ideas? Not even market ideas are promoted by anyone here, most people seem to believe in a strong State, with lots of controls and the like.

  46. Alek Boyd Says:

    … and I also know the “right” in Venezuela is almost non-existent. Venezuela is a center left country and much less developed in terms of democracy than I had previously thought.

    Miguel, could please explain the above? Mind you based on what did you arrive at such conclusion?

  47. deananash Says:

    island canuck, you seem to be implying that Venezuela is functioning under the rule of law. It isn’t. Which means you’re holdings are a temporary fantasy. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I’ve spent years listening to Cubans tell of their relatives who failed to flee Castro because they were “sure” that his days were numbered. So they held on to everything and it became worthless.

    jiec – my own experiences in Venezuela confirm all that you’ve written. And I don’t believe that there is a solution other than letting them destroy themselves. Unfortunately, because of the Devil’s Excrement, they have a lot to destroy. Which is why I suggest leaving.

  48. Kolya Says:

    “because of all the Messiah worshippers who frothed at the mouth at the anticipation that Hussein was somehow gonna save Venz from Chavez”

    Can you you give specific examples of people who worshipped Obama and expected that he will somehow save Venezuela from Chavez? You make it sound as if there were many such people, but I cannot think of a single one.

  49. Eric Lavoie Says:

    Sorry but the thing you complain about the bush period i see in opposite from the US left, it is as clueless as the other. Yeah the Fox thing was bad lol.
    I find the US discourse has gone to extremes (left or roght), and IMO that is not healthy, i find we have the same here, people are getting more extreme in their POV.

  50. OA2 Says:

    Eric Lavoie, Apologies. You are right. Using “reich” is harsh and wrong and it trivializes as terrible time in history. I will be more circumspect. “Regime” or “cult” would have been more accurate. But to lump me with FOX!? Now THAT’S harsh. Ouch.

  51. NicaCat Says:

    Michel, I just tweeted the link you posted!

  52. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Diego E. Arria, Gol e Sabz, Marc A. Tager, Denny Schlesinger, pablochacin and others. pablochacin said: Government shuts down RCTV cable programming #freemediave […]

  53. dillis Says:

    8pm tonight, the pots and pans are coming out!

  54. Eric Lavoie Says:

    Forgot to add, OA2 you fit nicely with the same that watch Fox as a balance opinion piece.

  55. Eric Lavoie Says:

    OA2 Bush reich yikes, just by saying that in that fashion you place yourself in the extremist camp. I hate extremists, Reich really, man what did you eat, de la vache enragée?

  56. OA2 Says:

    Floyd Looney, since we’re now apparently unabashedly expressing things we “imagine,” I imagine you thought the glorious Bush Reich was a shining example of freedom and lack of fascism, yes?

  57. Kepler Says:

    Roger…this gives me an idea: distribute dishes to key places in the countryside. I don’t think it needs to be the absolute poor only.
    Look at Maturín, for instance. That city has half a million people but no one in the capital thinks of reaching people there (unless they come from Maturín, that is)

  58. Roger Says:

    Im sure that RCTV’s decision was based on business and technical issues.
    First: They seem to have only ONE Satellite channel Direct TV LatAm on Galaxy 3C That is up linked from the US. I think from Miami. If they or any the cable companies have local insertion equipment in the headends to put on different commercials or video I don’t know, but I think not, as the cable companies would just do that regardless of RCTV. The cost and availability of which is an issue.
    Second: RCTV is one of the major programers and program producers in the Latin world. Venezuela is a small part of their business and I would think that their ratings go up whenever the other channels on Direct run Chavez.
    Third: There a lot more Satellite dishes than cable and those belong more to the poor who need to be reached.

  59. Lendy Araujo Says:

    I think most of you guys are right in your opinions/impressions about the current political situation here in Venezuela. I am venezuelan and currently lives in my country. So many destruction is taking place now in my country. But there are many reasons on the part of the government to do that. If you see the “EL CAPITAL” of Charles Marx, you will understand which way we are heading with this “leader” who is just a traidor. You need to destroy industries, take the media, destroy the important national industries and others so as to put in place the “people´s government”. This is not true, Chavez represents the worse government in our history. And we need to remove him using coming elections. people need to be aware of this and to be clear in the future democratic actions.

  60. HalfEmpty Says:

    Floyd, let it go, this is not the place.

    That said, in the US the court ruled strictly on the constitutionality of the law. Any ugly loop holes opened by the decision can be closed in a time honored method. That is to say legally.

  61. Speed Gibson Says:

    OA2 what Floyd said is relevant to this and Daniel’s blog because of all the Messiah worshippers who frothed at the mouth at the anticipation that Hussein was somehow gonna save Venz from Chavez (and themselves essentially) without them having to get their ass and sacrifice to save their own country and personal freedoms. It didnt turn out that way huh? At this point these blogs are just entertainment because its obvious “the people” dont have the cojones to change the situation.

    Regarding shutting down RCTV again and the pending shutdown of Globovision…? OK…well do SOMETHING about it!!! Stop your bitchin and shut the fucking country down !!! Thats how it gets done. Storm the palace gates and Hang Chavez upside down like Mussolini

  62. dillis Says:

    Globovision are reporting that a porpuesto (small public bus) has driven into some protesters in Maracaibo. 4 injured apparently. This just proves that these Chavistas have been brainwashed to such an extent that the only way to fight Chavez now is the way he understands. These pacifist marches are not going to get us anywhere. This isn’t just about RCTV, this is about the freedom of speech for everyone, even Chavistas.

    Apparently the students union are sending texts around now calling for people to hit the streets tomorrow to cause chaos to the traffic in Caracas.

  63. The Question Says:

    “According to this decree, if 70% or more of the programming was made in Venezuela, the cable system and satellite system would have to carry Chavez’ speeches.”

    So VTV is exempt from this, right? (90% of their programming is made in Cuba.)

    But seriously, if RCTV moves their offices to Colombia or Miami, can the broadcast again? Are they currently broadcasting for cable outside Venezuela? What would the government do if cable companies refuse to air TeleSUR and VTV? I’m not saying that we should combat the lack of freedom of speech by reducing it further, but everyone should start calling their cable companies telling them that they either put RCTV back, or kick TeleSUR, VTV, etc out, or we’ll cancel the cable subscription.

  64. m_astera Says:

    Floyd Looney

    There is a big difference between you and a group of your friends, and a corporation. If you and a group of your friends decide to do something, more power to you. If you incorporate, i.e. remove yourself from personal responsibility and create an artificial “person” to take responsibility, that I have a problem with.

  65. m_astera Says:


    Good question; one that applies not only to Vzla but to the world at large.

    One point I would make is that peoples in northern countries had to worry about surviving the winter, when no food grows and one will freeze without a place to stay warm, so they are more hard-wired to longer term thought. Not really true anymore, but something to keep in mind.

    I’ve been thinking about your question for some years. All I have come up with is to promote things like growing your own food and making the things you need for yourself the “cool and fashionable” thing to do. Where making and growing your own are the “in” thing, and homemade is considered better than store-bought.

    Anyone who can get some money somehow can buy things in a store, but it takes care and skill to make or grow your own. That care and skill should be admired, honored, and respected.

    How to do that in a world where those who have risen to power by lying, stealing and taking advantage of others are admired? Those are the traits of a sociopath, not an admirable human being.

    By the way I am by no means a leftist or socialist. I despise government, every government I’ve ever seen or read about. Nothing need be imposed, only some better examples made and promoted.

  66. Floyd Looney Says:

    OA2, The Obama Administration had to lose that Supreme Court case, they were asking for the power to ban books, films, TV programs and websites or anything else with a political message. This was not all about funding ad campaigns, the case centered on a film.

    What did you think the Supreme Court would do when the Solicitor General argued that even a text download on a Kindle with a political message could be outlawed? This is the most facist regime we have ever had in this country.

    The Solicitor General was even asked if Wal-Mart ran a non-political ad for an Obama action figure could it be felonious? If it were at a certain time and channel, it could be they said.

    I am glad the SCOTUS stood up for the freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of speech. Venezuela could use some of that about now.

    Big Insurance and Big Pharmaceutical corporations spent a hundred million dollars are more running TV ad campaigns advocating “Healthcare reform” as did unions and even the AARP. That didn’t bother you a bit did it? I guess its only okay when the statists do it.

    Imagine you and your friends get together and launch an organization to raise funds to run TV ads, do you really think your voice should be squelched by the might of the federal government?

    I do not think a government should have the power to shut down TV stations or cable channels or websites because they do not agree with their political points of view. It is always sad to see it done in countries like China and now Venezuela.

    Back to Venezuela, I am glad Globovision has been giving them the bare minimum they demand to stay on the air and still give the other side of the story. Not that this would stop Chavez from getting upset and pulling them off the air at some random point.

    “I am the people” and “I demand absolute loyalty” would not go down well here in the United States. What does the average Venezuelan think when they hear him say things like that? Do they even listen to his speeches anymore?

  67. jiec Says:


    You have to understand Venezuelan culture to know why the Ni-Ni’s even exist. A large portion of the Venezuelan population has grown in a society where people seek to live from “lo que salpique” (whatever splashes around). In other words, they are seeking short-term gains to achieve happiness TODAY. Thus, it is no wonder that Venezuelans are among the happiest people on earth. Most Venezuelans don’t worry about the morality, ethics, or long term consequences of their actions. As long as they can survive one more day, life is good.

    Chavez understands this all too well. That’s why he just “created” $7 billion when he announced the devaluation. He knows that having the Bolivares to buy someone a fridge will help him (Chavez) also survive one more day. Like it or not, Chavez and his politics are a reflection of Venezuelan culture, and like with most cultural matters, that is not something that can be solved in the short term. And, therein lies the conundrum. How do you impose solutions with a long-term horizon in a country where surviving one more day is the only thing that matters?

  68. GWEH Says:

    My two cents: this is personal between Marciel Granier and Hugo Chavez (just like most everything else in Venezuela, it’s personal).

    Both are stubborn and intransigent. There will be no reconciliation.

  69. Robert Says:

    For what it’s worth, there is not correlation between the recent supreme court action in the US and Chavez’ Venezuela. Obama does not control the supreme court. Chavez does.

  70. island canuck Says:

    “…then my advice is to escape.”

    Great idea if it were feasible.

    How do you divest yourself of your holdings when the real estate market is virtually non existent. Many of us have our whole lives tied up in our businesses & homes.

    I would love to retire after more than 20 years in my business however it’s just not feasible.

  71. moctavio Says:

    Dean: I have been out of touch with the world for a week, I don’t even know about the US Supreme Court decision, but if you want to discuss it here it is fine with me. This example shows why I don’t like mixing US politics in this blog. Venezuela is not about left versus right. If Chavez had been a President for all Venezuelans, respected human rights and tried to do something positive, this blog would not exist. I know where the true extreme left lies in Venezuela and is not with Chavez (I disagree with both) and I also know the “right” in Venezuela is almost non-existent. Venezuela is a center left country and much less developed in terms of democracy than I had previously thought.

  72. jpCCS Says:

    In my understanding, transmitting ‘cadenas’ is not the biggest issue here (as to make RCTV Intl. unviable). They probably could work around it as the open air channels do: Venevision, Televen, Globovision and Meridiano TV.
    It is the norm that states that ads can only be shown at the start and end of shows that is the killer here. This reduces substantially the number of ads that can be placed per show and also makes it quite unappealing for advertisers. Thus hampering even more RCTV Intl.’s capacity to produce revenues…

  73. bruni Says:

    Chávez is making a big mistake. He does not seem to remember that the last time he closed RCTV he lost the reform referendum.

    My prevision is that he will back down on this decision.

  74. deananash Says:

    If you’re not willing to fight Chavez, then my advice is to escape. I can’t condemn either choice, but I can see that it has come down to this. There is no middle way anymore. To paraphrase Bush, you are either with Chavez, or not. Chavez understands this all too well. The Ni-Ni’s? I’m not sure.

    I am sure that the failure to TAKE ACTION against Chavez only emboldens and empowers him. Soon it will be too late. It may already be too late.

    OA2, nice work around, although I disagree with you.

    Miguel, since the issue of government control over media/free speech is essential to Venezuela (and of course, all free peoples), I’d love to hear what your readers think about the recent US Supreme Court ruling. Could you oblige us with an off-topic post so that we could, in turn, comment there? Or how about embedding a poll? Your readers’ – my friends who I haven’t yet met – opinions would be interesting to me. As would your opinion on this issue.

  75. OA2 Says:

    Floyd Looney. Since this is a blog about Venezuela and not US politics, and because the author prefers we not make frontal attacks on people expressing their opinions, I won’t be able to call you out as the jackass you clearly are for agreeing with the disastrous supreme court decision that allows, after 60+ years of precedent and just in time for the mid-term elections, corporate greed and corruption to once again rule the American political landscape. But oh boy, if it wasn’t frowned upon in this blog, I sure would.

  76. When the sun sets the shadow grows…

  77. Robert Says:

    More to come………

    Everything that has happened this year from devaluation to Exito expropriation to closing RCTV to CNE gerrymandering is all about the upcoming AN elections. I imagine more to come, I just can’t imagine what’s left to destroy. Chavez narcisism demands re-affirmation in the elections because in his mind this election is not about AN members but about him. His cronies in the AN and CNE and the corrupt bunch know this and will play it for all it’s worth.

  78. island canuck Says:

    Globovision will not stop transmitting cadenas because that would give the excuse to Chavez to shut them down.

    VTV only shows clips of oppo marches where a street may only have a few people in it. They NEVER show the full streets with 10’s of thousands of people.

    They NEVER show the hundreds (thousands?) of buses used to bring people in from all over the country at a huge cost just to have a crowd large enough for the VTV cameras.

    With Chavez down in the polls & the country collapsing you can expect that more severe measures are in store for us.

  79. Roberto Says:

    I don’t think Globovision will stop transmitting cadenas, and they will never shut them down either.

    Ravell is no stranger to how governments in Venezuela have manipulated media in the past, having himself held the job at one time.

    Venevision’s cable channel was not declared a “national producer”, RCTV’s was.

    Whether or not it comes back on the air will depend on how far Granier et al want to take things.

    Don’t count on public sentiment to get Chavez to change on this one. I do hope there is a big a backlash over this one, regsardless.

  80. Floyd Looney Says:

    Daniel had a video clip on his blog showing the difference in coverage between a Chavista channel and Globovision. I wonder if the “state run” channel even dares show a glimpse of the opposition march?

    I think it is safe to say that Globovision is probably next, and I would hazard a guess that new controls on newspapers may be coming too.

    I also saw where Chavez said he is the people and demanded absolute loyalty to his regime. Pretty typical I would guess?

    Interestingly this comes days after the US Supreme Court has upset the leftists here by declaring the government cannot censor “corporations” which is everything from businesses, NGO’s to churches and anything else representing more than one person. Oh how the leftists are angry, it was beautiful to behold their teeth gnashing.

  81. dillis Says:

    Seems things are going to get ugly now. I hope RCTV don’t back down and that Globovision stops transmitting Cadenas in solidarity with them.

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