The hegemons now go for the newspapers (Updated)

Cadena Capriles's new headquarters in Caracas
Cadena Capriles’s new headquarters in Caracas

After the airwaves, it’s only natural that the people leading the communicational hegemony would set their sights on newspapers, looking to curb dissident voices and control the flow of information.

Early reports came today that the Cadena Capriles (owner of Últimas Noticias, El Mundo Economía y Negocios, and Líder) would be sold to banker Víctor Vargas. Hours later, such reports were confirmed.

It’s interesting to point out that Venezuelan bankers are legally banned from owning  media outlets after the 2010’s reform of the Banking Law (article 32, section 9).

As print media doesn’t require any government licenses like radio and TV broadcasters, there have been multiple State attempts for years to pressure newspapers. While a version of the RESORTEME Law for the newspapers has not come forward yet in the National Assembly, judicial actions are used in some parts of the country to keep the press on check. They also have the “currency permits for newsprint” card, just like the times of Lusinchi…

The State also runs three major newspapers: Correo del Orinoco, Diario VEA and Ciudad CCS (in which Information Minister Ernesto Villegas was its former director), but none of them has been successful outside the hardcore base. They’re just like VTV but in print.

With the help of some willing businessmen that can transform themselves in the Venezuelan version of Rupert Murdoch, the hegemony enters into a brand new phase…

UPDATE: Banco Occidental de Descuento (BOD) has denied in its Twitter account that either its chairman Víctor Vargas or the bank itself are involved in the purchase of Cadena Capriles. In an internal press statement, CC’s chairman Miguel Ángel Capriles López indicated that behind the operation was “…a well-known Venezuelan investment group”.

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