Alexis Ramírez: Grand Media Inquisitor

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Mérida State Governor Alexis Ramírez

The Chavista onslaught against independent media (domestic or foreign) has been escalating pretty quickly: Nicolás Maduro has now accused CNN en Español of promoting a coup against him and putting Venezuela to shame.

This just after Maracaibo TV channel ATEL was taken off the air last week by the broadcasting authority, CONATEL, to block its possible sale.

It seems like in the wake of the recent sale of Globovision to government cronies, the government wants to intensify its crackdown on independent media outlets. But some middle-ranking Chavistas want to go even further and go right after the journalists themselves.

A case in point:

In Mérida, radio host and independent correspondent Leonardo León said on his show that the motorcycle gangs that attacked the ULA Medical Center (CAMIULA) back on April 16th were not stopped by the local police. Five days earlier, supporters of Henrique Capriles were attacked after his last electoral rally there by thugs in motorcycles.

Governor Alexis Ramírez responded to the allegations by going to the courts: he brought a complaint for defamation against León and a tribunal will hear the case.

When Ramírez took his post last December, he took a page out of Rafael Correa’s playbook and ordered to all government officials to refrain from talking to the media. But that wasn’t enough for him and earlier this month he created something called the General Staff of Comunications. What’s that, you might ask? It’s an official entity that will monitor the work of local media and makes sure it “adjusted to the law”, as the ghastly Orwellian euphemism has it.

Governor Ramírez has declared himself judge and jury of journalism. Now he’s also the executioner.

1 COMMENT

  1. In modern countries, you cannot slander, libel, or defame entities such as “the police”. You can slander or defame individuals, but only if they do not have standing as a public actor. And of course, only monetary damages would be available if you defamed a private individual, never prison.

  2. Er, ah, anyone keeping tabs on the number of coup attempts and/or assassination plots assigned to bolibourgeois forces within the past 6 months or so? They’re looking for a fight, but with whom? One has the feeling that there is about to occur a ‘major’ incident which will catapult Venezuelan politics back onto the world stage. It’s coming, you just know it.

    • Dr. Faustus,
      Maduro is trying to create a rational reason to attack others by saying he is being attacked first. This could be fake assassination attempts or the media going after him.
      I see these probable cases-
      Scenario 1–Chavismo breaks up with infighting between Cabello and Maduro. This could get nasty quick.
      Scenario 2–Cubans are directing Maduro and will have control over any incidents that arise. Maduro would like nothing better than to get rid of Capriles but it would have to be done in a manner in which Chavismo is not implicated. Leave it to the Cubans to create a scenario in which this happens.
      Scenario 3– The Castros die and leave Venezuela without a leader. Maduro spends the rest of his life talking to birds and getting plastic surgery to look like Hugo Chavez.

      • Agreed. What is fascinating to watch is Maduro’s habit of lashing out at anything that he feels threatens him, at a moments notice. Child-like. Strange. The Venezuelan economy is collapsing on a DAILY basis. Where’s he gonna focus his anger when the sh## hits the fan? Food lines. Rioting. Demonstrations. You can smell it in the air. A upcoming major incident will launch Venezuelan politics in a whole new direction. I think it’s gonna be ugly.

  3. I live in Mérida and this guy is a shameless member of the revolutionary motorcycle-riding groups like Tupamaro that constantly terrorize us (they are usually heavily armed and they have “licence to kill”) I bet he ordered his goons to CAMIULA (ULA’s medical center) and you probably know the rest of the story….

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