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Monday 15 March 2010

Patricia Covarrubia

Venezuela: is a new regulation for Internet and satellite TV at the door?

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Last Saturday, the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias, demanded for measures to control the content delivered via Internet and satellite television. These are the last media that have not been regulated by the Government.

Certainly, the freedom of expression is again threatened by President Chavez, who has already applied the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television and thus closing one television and several radio stations (see early blog here).

The newspaper EL Universal, refers to the fact that the announcement came weeks after the visit of Cuba's Minister of Science, Ramiro Valdes, who is responsible for monitoring what the Cubans may or may not see or read on the Internet (is this a coincidence?).

El Nuevo Herald also reported that President Chavez quoted German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Chavez explained that what she has said about the internet is true: "the Internet cannot be a free thing where they do and say anything, no, every country must make its rules and standards”.

Two weeks ago, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) wrote a report entitled Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela, where affirms that “the punitive power of the State is being used to intimidate or punish people on account of their political opinions.” (is this the case?)

In terms of this IP blog, what is the point of being creative if the author/creator/producer cannot express his views?

This measure sounds like the Government is trying to ‘shoot the messenger’. And as always, I have a said (or better say, my father used to have one): "don’t shoot the piano player; he is doing the best he can".

I hope we can keep accessing the Venezuelan population for the years to come.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia