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The Silence of the media or when the left meets the right in Venezuela

By Miguel Octavio | The Devil's Excrement

23.02.05 | If anyone thought the gag law and the changes of the Penal Code would have no effect, one needs to go no further than recent events to know, to learn, that Venezuela is currently living under a very subtle form of censorship. The media is being extremely careful of not publishing or not showing anything that may offend the revolutionary sensibility of this fraudulent Government.

Two cases come to mind: One, there have been reports that the number of dead people during the recent flooding was much higher than it has been reported. I have talked to well known reporters who understand that the number of dead people is over 300, but they have no way of proving it, as the Government is not providing any data on this issue and since all of the disaster areas are being guarded by the military it is not easy to have real numbers of information. The second case most people don’t even have any idea about is what happened at Universidad de Oriente, which has yet to appear in any of the media. But first some background.

In Venezuela, universities are “autonomous”. The concept implies that they make their own decisions and the police can not enter campuses. Throughout the years, the biggest scandals of the “IVth. Republic” occurred whenever a Government violated this concept and the police went into any University. The left and the press would raise hell and there would be demonstrations for days about the issue.

Well, last week, the campus of the Universidad de Oriente in Eastern Venezuela was raided by the joint action of the police of Sucre state in a joint raid by the municipal and state police with the military and the National Guard.

It all began when two groups pf students were protesting within the University how bad the dining facilities currently are at the University as well as the increase in the transporation fares. The protesters were bombarded by stones from the Mayor’s office and the two groups (From what I understand, they were both pro-Chavez) had a battle which lasted until the cops and soldiers arrived.

The raid was not precisely nice, students and Professors were taken away at gunpoint, laboratories were damaged, workers and students were mistreated. There have been no classes since then, there are daily protests etc...

Bit none of this appears in the news, as the media is concerned that talking about this or showing it on TV may be interpreted under the gag law as an attempt to create uncertainty in the population. What all of this proves is how close the extreme right and the extreme left of the world really are. Those sending in the cops and troops were supposed to be left-wingers only six years ago, who would have cried foul if a raid like this had taken place and even more if the media had not reported it. But today, these people are “authorities” running this fake revolution in which even their own supporters are having their rights violated and their actions repressed in the interest of the common “good”. Sound familiar? Pinochet would be so proud of them!

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