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SIgn onto international letter in solidarity with Venezuela

[Below is a letter initiated in Venezuela in support of the Venezuelan government's attempts to democratise the media, which has been the catalyst for a new offensive by imperialism and the Venezuelan oligarchy against the Chavez government and revolutionary process.

Eveyone who wants to support the Venezuelan government and reject the international campaign against it (based on lies about a supposed attack on freedom of speech, when not only has no media outlet has been closed, but access to media is being extended by the government) should sign on to this letter.

Also, not just to sign this letter, but also, if you haven't already, add your name to the letter circulated by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, which you can do here:

It doesn't take very long to join the international campaign to help defend Venezuela against the propaganda offensive against it now.]


Dear Friends and Comrades,
In the context of the international campaign against the government of Venezuela, I urge you to support the following statement and to circulate it widely. Please send your full name, nationality and profession to centrointernacionalmiranda@gmail.com .
in solidarity,
michael

IN FAVOR OF DEMOCRACY IN THE MEDIA, OF THE LEGITIMATE RIGHT OF THE VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT TO DECIDE WHO SHALL BROADCAST ON ITS AIRWAVES

In the mid 70s the non aligned countries demanded a New World Information and Economic Order. Some time later, this decision led the United States to withdraw from UNESCO. For many decades only five or so monopolies controlled flows of information. It is only now that the demand to understand information as a human right and to democratize access to the media is being seen as a necessary requirement for building systems that are really democratic. The existence of media like Telesur or Al Jazeera, the proliferation of community radio and television stations, the expansion of computer networks and free software and the efforts states are making to take back control of their airwaves are all part of this effort to democratize the airwaves,

This is why we respect CONATEL's (The National Telecommunication Commission of Venezuela) decision to not renew the broadcast license of the private television channel Radio Caracas (RCTV) which was taken in complete accordance with Venezuelan domestic legislation and international standards. Far from being an argument in favour of renewing its license to broadcast, the biased manner in which RCTV used this frequency for 53 years was an invitation to find an alternative use for it. Besides, RCTV still has the option to continue broadcasting on cable and satellite, if it so wishes.

Similarly, we are concerned to note that the attacks to which this sovereign decision by the Venezuelan government is being subject are related to the attempts --started by the FAES foundation and repeated by other right-wing organisations in Europe and America-- to "democratically defeat the socialism for the 21 century project". The Venezuelan government's fair decision not to renew RCTV's broadcast licence can be explained by what RCTV did during the April 2002 coup d'état in Venezuela –to wit, giving airtime to the coup backers, distorting the facts and ignoring acts which were an attack on freedom of expression. The events RCTV ignored included the violent take-over of the state TV station, thus silencing and disrespecting its journalists (RCTV also ignored the people's reaction to the massacre in the streets). What the station did during the coup also permits us to understand why, today as yesterday, right-wing forces all over the world are closing ranks with the Venezuelan right.

Democratising the media is something our democracies have yet to do. The information given out abroad about Venezuela and President Chávez clearly demonstrates the manipulation of information that affects all of our peoples. We unflinchingly defend our peoples' freedom of expression and their right to be informed but we do not confuse this with the freedom of media companies --and the political and economic conglomerates who are their allies-- to manipulate information to suit their interests and aims.

So, for all of the above reasons and while once again repeating that the Venezuelan government has the legitimate right to decide on the use of the airwaves that belong to all of its citizens, we demand that an urgent debate be started on the means of communication to put an end to the exaggerated manipulation that we see today which seeks to attack a legitimate decision taken by the democratic government of Venezuela.

1 de junio de 2007

Caracas,

Luis Bonilla Molina, Escritor, Presidente del Centro Internacional Miranda, Venezuela.
Marta Harnecker, Escritora. Chile.
Michael Lebowitz, Profesor Emérito Universidad Simon Fraser, Canadá.
Fernando Bossi, Congreso Bolivariano de los Pueblos (CBP), Argentino,
Monica Saiz, Argentina, Congreso Bolivariano de los Pueblos (CBP)
Haiman el Troudi, Escritor, Venezuela.
Víctor Álvarez, Economista, Venezuela
Juan Carlos Monedero, Profesor Universidad Complutense. Madrid. España.
Maximilien Arvelaiz, Venezuela.
Janet Duckworth, politóloga, Reino Unido
Gilberto Giménez, Venezuela.
Selma Díaz, Arquitecto, Cuba.
Jorge Gantiva, Educador, Colombia
Miguel Sanchez, Educador, (Chile)
Pedro Luis Gonzalez, Politologo, Venezuela
Jonathan Montilla, Venezuela.

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