Chávez Attacks Globovision in National Address

Cross-posted from PoliBlog:

Via the BBC: Venezuela head in new TV warning

In a national address shown by all TV stations, Mr Chavez defended his decision to close RCTV as a public service, denouncing the 53-year-old station – Venezuela’s most popular – as a “permanent attack on public morals”.

He also called news network Globovision an enemy of the state, attacking its coverage of the protests against RCTV’s closure.

“Enemies of the homeland, particularly those behind the scenes, I will give you a name: Globovision. Greetings, gentlemen of Globovision, you should watch where you are going,” Mr Chavez said.

“I recommend you take a tranquiliser and get into gear, because if not, I am going to do what is necessary.”

On Monday, Venezuela’s government announced it was suing Globovision for allegedly broadcasting material to incite a possible assassination of Mr Chavez. It also accused US news network CNN of linking him to al-Qaeda. Globovision and CNN have both denied the claims.

The attacks on Globovision in the wake of the RCTV business are clearly designed to frighten the station’s managers, editors and reporters to watch themselves in terms of criticism of the regime lest they, too, lose their license.

It should be noted that under a law passed at Chávez’s behest, all broadcast outlets have to broadcast whatever message the president wishes to send whenever he wants to send it.

BTW, one of the tip offs that this is about Chávez trying to expand power is the constant references to how the content of RCTV’s programming was damaging to the nation. Because, after all, Chávez only wants to do what is good for the people of Venezuela by keeping all that immorality off of their television sets. Also notice: he is taking Globovision’s airing of the protests against the government and the alleged incitement to assassination as attacks on the “homeland” yet the attacks, such as they are, are not aimed at Venezuela writ large, they are aimed at Chávez, yet Chávez conflates himself with the homeland. The rhetoric has a clear authoritarian flavor to it.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter