VENEZUELA'S CLASS WARFARE
New York City
* Although we commend Naomi Klein for writing about the struggle between the Venezuelan government and the private media, in her March 3 "Lookout" column, she misrepresented the position of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
While we do not dispute the Venezuelan government's right to regulate public airwaves, and while we recognize that serious allegations have been made regarding the conduct of private media, we object to efforts by the administration of President Hugo Chavez to apply regulations that are inconsistent with international standards of press freedom. For example, some of the regulations that Chavez is seeking to apply forbid speech that incites "rebellion and disrespect of institutions and its authorities," a statute that violates the American Convention on Human Rights. Furthermore, the investigations are being carried out in a punitive manner by a government agency whose impartiality and independence are highly suspect.
During the past several years, CPJ has been carefully monitoring the media in Venezuela. The current investigations into the broadcast media come in the wake of a two-month strike by the country's largest labor union and other opposition forces that has severely crippled Venezuela's economy and contributed to social unrest there. We realize that in this polarized environment both private and state media have dropped all pretense of objectivity from their news coverage. And as we observed in a CPJ report, Cannon Fodder, published last summer, …
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Publication information: Article title: Letters. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: The Nation. Volume: 276. Issue: 11 Publication date: March 24, 2003. Page number: 2. © 1999 The Nation Company L.P. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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