Wearing military garb and using his now customary intolerant and confrontational style, President Hugo Chavez began the second phase of his fake revolution by announcing that the concession to TV station Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) will not be renewed in March. The owners of the station claim that the concession was renewed until 2020, but whether one side is right or not from a legal point of view is simply irrelevant. What is clear is that dissent is not and will not be tolerated and the scope of action of the media and the press will be slowly quenched, until only one view is available.
The President justified the measure by saying that RCTV had staged coups, a strange claim coming from a man that led one bloody one and supported a second one, for which Venezuelan democracy, the one he claims was so bad and heartless, only showed tolerance and compassion in pardoning him.
But this is just another step in the total control of the Nation by the autocrat. As other TV stations have their concession expire in the next few years, they will either have to put up or shut up, essentially killing free speech, which we have already seen diminished dramatically in the last few years as other TV stations have stayed quiet on many issues which may annoy or offend the autocrat.
And it was done in typically dictatorial and autocratic style. He himself decided it on the basis of politics and hate, there was no technical decision, no evaluation, no evidence, no proof, just Chavez himself deciding that RCTV’s criticism and opposition to his Government was sufficient not to renew the license. Dissent ist verbotem.
Of course, while this is happening the Government absolutely controls the Government TV station VTV, has created Vale TV, VIVE TV, Telesur and has recently purchased privately held CMT, as well as giving out a few dozen regional concessions for TV broadcasting. A single view will be broadcast one day, in the best totalitarian style.
Moreover, Chavez threatened to turn his weekly program “Alo Presidente” either into a daily affair, so he can turn himself into a “teacher”, promoting hate and division among Venezuelans and, obviously, promoting himself, the unique and lifetime leader, or into a daily obligatory broadcast by all TV stations, in another attempt at self-promoting and making sure the Hugo Chavez cult receives all of the attention of all Venezuelans.
He also threatened that we are now in a new stage of the fake revolution, that there will be no continuity with what has happened so far. In criollo terms, the only thing he did not say is “Lo que viene es joropo” (What is coming is joropo, a typical Venezuelan dance) which signifies you have to be ready to dance at whatever rhythm is played. Or else.
And while the President of RCTV Marcel Granier, tried to put up a brave face, saying Chavez is “ill-informed” and they are simply trying to put fear in them, the truth is that no Court in the land will ever side with RCTV in a Chavez vs. RCTV fight over the concession.
And as we said right after Chavez’ reelection, this is what we will see from now on, the regular imposition of controls and limits and a total all out war against dissent and the right to free speech. All so that an ignorant Lt. can “spend time reading to prepare himself” for the next stage, in a clear and absolutely cynical admission, that even after eight years in power, Hugo Chavez is still trying to create a plan of where and how he wants the Nation to go. And that he will not discuss it with anyone, he will step back, read, decide and come back to tell us daily his newly found wisdom, in the hope that one day, he will find the right way to do things.
It is totalitarism at its best.