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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

VenEconomy: Venezuela Takes a Little Step Sideways

From the Editors of VenEconomy

On Sunday, Francisco Olivares, in a feature story entitled “It is Forbidden to Express Yourself” published in local newspaper El Universal, gave details of an intensification in the attacks to freedom of speech in Venezuela since Nicolás Maduro took office, first as vice president and then as president-elect on April 14 of this year.

Olivares explained that, in 2013 alone, some 158 cases of attacks to freedom of speech according to data compiled and corroborated by Espacio Público, an NGO, which showed figures that “spread between aggressions to journalists, attacks to media outlets, threats, censorship, intimidation, judicial and verbal harassment and the implementation of restrictive laws or administrative measures.”

Nobody can escape or is safe from this new wave of persecutions in times of revolution, which today has as main exponents “Nicolás Maduro himself along with ministers, the heads of public powers, State bodies, security forces, the National Assembly, governors and mayors.”

These neo-Castro-communists do not tolerate that truthful and objective information that the population has the right to is showing all the major flops by this so-called “beautiful revolution,” which has made people poorer and ruined the entire country over the past fifteen years in spite of huge oil revenues.

In the absence of an honest and credible answer to explain where all the money is, criminals in the form of politicians that have taken over the country have had no other choice but to shut the voices of those scrutinizing, investigating and uncovering all the secrets related to the mismanagement of the country’s public affairs.

The Government is attempting to persecute, prosecute and sentence any media outlet or analyst that gets in its way to report or reflect the reality of shortages of staple goods. Newspapers running a photo that depicts the reality of the Caracas morgue, whose facilities are now insufficient to receive the corpses of hundreds of Venezuelans murdered every day in the hands of violent criminals protected by this incompetent administration, are getting costly fines.

Quoting Espacio Público, Olivares claims that “only two months away from year-end, the attacks to freedom of speech will surpass those from 2012, aggravated by the situation that cases of censorship, intimidation and harassment have been substantially increasing. Such cases comprise the shutdown of media outlets, arrests, court cases and physical aggressions to journalists, all of these combined with threats from those in power.”

This “gagging” policy is so serious that Maduro created on October 7 the Strategic Center of Security and Protection for the Homeland (aka Cesppa), a public body with military characteristics that will require, organize, integrate and evaluate all kinds of information, facts or circumstances that it calls strategic for the nation.

A center that even with a reformulation of the Article 3 published in the country’s Official Gazette last Thursday, thus excluding the terms of “internal and external enemies” and the subordination of this body to a political-military structure from the “Revolution,” is still an instrument of censorship and for ratting people out led by a top military officer with allegiance to the Revolution. This time Venezuela did not take a little step back, it took it sideways.

VenEconomy has been a leading provider of consultancy on financial, political and economic data in Venezuela since 1982.

Click here to read this in Spanish


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