Curtailing Political Speech in Venezuela

Via the BBC:  Anti-Chavez Venezuelan TV Globovision pays $2.1m fine

A Venezuelan news channel highly critical of President Hugo Chavez has paid a $2.1m (£1.3m) fine for its coverage of a prison riot a year ago.

The move comes a day after the Supreme Court placed a seizure order on assets belonging to Globovision worth nearly three times the original fine.

“The fine is unfair and disproportionate,” said Globovision vice-president Carlos Zuloaga.

I cannot speak to the merits of the El Rodeo prison issue itself, as I am unfamiliar with the details.  What I do know is that Globovision has a long history of conflict with the Chavez regime and that the regime has been known to use the courts and other regulatory mechanism to make life difficult for media outlets critical of the government.

As such, the following assessment is reasonable:

“This decision doesn’t surprise us because we are about to begin an election campaign in which the government tends to take judicial actions to intimidate the independent private media,” said channel vice-president Maria Fernanda Flores.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. 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


  1. beatriz Canedo says:

    Truth has a high price…..we all want it….but few a willing to pay the price. Thank for your courage in brining us what you see!