Why Communicational Hegemony Terrifies Me UPDATED

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    The biggest drug bust in as long as anybody can remember goes down on a flight departing from Venezuela and this is what the State Media Conglomerate has to say about it.

    Yup. Nothing. At all. Never heard of it. Never happened.

    The notional news consumer who relies exclusively on SIBCI for his information would just never have known it happened. You might call that a somewhat churlish gedankenexperiment if it wasn’t for the fact that establishing SIBCI’s hegemony over people’s access to information is an avowed state policy goal. (In fact, inside the nation’s military barracks, that notional news consumer is very much alive and kicking.)

    And to think, we have to take lectures on journalistic ethics from these people. Hell, even Aporrea does better!

    UPDATE: 36-hours after the fact, SIBCI catches up with the story, only to shift-blame to the ‘Ndragheta immediately.

    36 COMMENTS

    1. There’s been similarly-sized cocaine seizures in Venezuela and Colombia before, but it’s strange that traffickers would lump so much cocaine in a single air shipment. Normally they would split a shipment of this size if it’s facing numerous potential obstacles (customs inspections, shipping & handling where it could get discovered, etc). Not surprising that the communicational hegemony from VTV hasn’t said shit. I’m surprised they didn’t find a way to make it Capriles or the US’s fault.

        • “Who’s to say that isn’t what they were doing?!”
          That would be it. “Camaradas, no se pasen, no se pasen. Hay que hacerlo disimulaíto: una tonelada en Air France, una en Air Tap, una en Iberia”

          One thing I found amusing some time ago: how they keep announcing the yearly total of requisition cocaine, how meaningless those stats can be without any reasoning and real debate about the implications.

          In 2009 the government claimed to have found 15 tonnes of cocaine.
          In 2010 they found about 24.53 tonnes. In 2011, they found – El Aissami proudly announced – about 25 tonnes (62% of 42)

          http://venezuela-us.org/es/2011/12/28/mas-de-42-toneladas-de-drogas-ha-incautado-gobierno-venezolano-en-2011/

          In 2012 it was 27.1 tonnes of cocaine.
          I wonder if we are going to make it to the 30 tonnes for this year.

          • If the intercepted drug volumes represented a substantial part of the total drug traffic passing Venezuela , then logically drug trafickers would have ceased using Venezuela as a conduit for their international trafficking . They havent done so , Hence we must assumme that the intercepted volumes only represent a modest part of the total volume . Moreover that drug trafficking is thriving in Venezuela, because much of it is hosted and supported by govt officials . Another explanation is that interception is ocassional and selective ,(i.e. it only affects competitors of drug traffickers connected to the govt or its officials ) . Either way the govt boasting of their success in intercepting drug traffic indirectly suggests the opposite of what its trying to tell the world . This last incident is the clincher !!

        • That’s very true. There’s few ways of telling, given that it’s an illicit economy. For me, the strange part is that they sent 1,300 kilograms de una sola instead of sending a few hundred here and there on various aircraft or ships. It’s rare that criminals would gamble a large load by sending it in a single go.

          • But think of what Francisco is implying: they might be sending just a bit here and a bit there but a bit in 2013 might mean something different to them.
            In Montreal I once asked for a petit café and I got a coffee cup that would be considered
            “un café pour un éléphant” in Paris.

          • desperation, perhaps, in an economy that’s tanking?

            Otherwise, now we know why Maduro et al made such a ruckus and false claim over the US denying air space use to the Cuban airline/Vz govt. ANYTHING to divert attention from the truth of what was coming down the pike.

    2. Er, I know this may sound like a silly question, but..

      Has anyone been arrested yet at Maiquetia? I mean, simple, right? Who was in charge of the baggage hold on that Air France plane on the tarmac at Maiquetia? One guy? Three guys? Remember the, ah, anti-corruption thing? 270 million dollars? Any arrests?

    3. Could it be that they’re raspando la olla, trying to speed up the “process” because they know shiitake is about to hit a giant fan? (Isea in DC, others…)

      • it depends. I doubt the shit is going to hit the fan. Issea could be gettin debriefed, so what. Nothing will come of that. Issea is not privy to the cocaine operations and even if he was, a sealed indictment becomes automatically political meaning it will never happen or see the light of day under Obama and Holder. I am aware that US government does not really care so whatever dilligence is being performed, it will just stay there (por ahora).

    4. The Communicational Hegemony Policy comprises three rules
      1. Media vehicles will only report news that: boosts the govts image or, damages the credibility and reputation of its adversaries or, lacks any political relevance .
      2. The opposition ( and its leaders) shall be denied effective access to any media which they may use to criticize the govt or to voice dissenting views.
      3. Any media ( or media owners) violating the above two rules will be subject to persecution , threats , insults , fines ,penalties or official closure , unless they agree to sell their media outlets to the govt or to groups friendly to the govt.
      As is obvious the hegemony policy, in basic intent, seeks to abrogate the effective exercise of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press and represents a direct violation of the Constitutional Rights of all Venezuelans .
      Not that it matters one witt as things now stand !!

    5. Well, truth be told, if you click on your link you can see that they do have an article up now, which links the smuggling to the Calabrese Mafia. At first I thought that this was some kind of scapegoating, but actually, it does factually quote this other article from Le Figaro (http://bit.ly/15hXj2D).

      So, I’m not so sure that this is a good example of Communicational Hegemony being awful (even though it really is).

      • Hi Kepler, right, here we have to vote for major too, so it was 2 elections in one. I had the luck to be a Beisitzer, it was an interesting experience. We closed at 18:00 and did the count until maybe 19:30. There were aprox. 800 voters, some 50% showed and another 5% probably used the post to vote. We were 8 persons and rotated in two groups (8:00-18:00 was open to vote). The first information is based on quick surveys, but are very, very accurate.
        We don’t even bother to ask for a personal id, the postal invitation is enough… and if you don’t have that, the personal id will do…

    6. yes it’s the Italians…this is a new route. The big italian that was doing this before got busted and new guys took over (obviously they bungled it). Maduro is pissed. This was done without his knowledge and they would have never approved. Black eye for Maduro right when he makes the biggest trips of his life. Heads will roll… damage control apparent with Luis Ortega visiting airport the other day. The guys who run the airport should be in hot water including the minister Herbert Garcia Plaza who seems to be kissing the boss’ ass right now https://twitter.com/HGarciaPlaza. I would checkout what the highest civilian and military authorities who run the airports are doing… do they have twitter….they should be worried and expect fallout when the boss comes back

    7. The Italians Ndrangheta and Cosa Nostra have been the biggest movers… surpassing the Spaniards and Russians. There is backgrounder on the Web… look for Roberto Pannunzi

    8. BTW, this is only USD$10 million tops that was lost. That is the cost. The media is using Kilo landed uncut and cut estimates that have too many variables to truly know but yes, at the end of the day this is potentially $250M after passing many hands, transported many miles, and cutting many times.

    9. The guys that run Maiquetia:

      Director General
      GB. Luis Gustavo Graterol Caraballo

      Adjunto – Director General
      Lcdo. Rafael Cordero Urgelles

      Director del Despacho
      Tte. César Vivas

      Consejo de Administración
      GB. Luis Gustavo Graterol Caraballo
      GB. César Martínez Ruiz
      CA. Patricia Ferrero
      GB. Lorllys Ramos Acevedo

      Operaciones
      Téc. Víctor Salcedo Brito

      Seguridad Aeroportuaria
      Tcnel. Ernesto José Mora Carvajal

    10. Who is involved from this list? The top guy and the security chief for sure. Then you go down the list. Not much out on the web but there are tidbits

      • Who is involved from this list? The top guy and the security chief for sure. Then you go down the list.
        From the most recent news on SIBCI, only the bottom person on your list, Ernesto Mora Carvajal, has been arrested. The rest are much further down the totem pole.

        From: SIBCI Martes 24 septiembre, 2013 – 10:23 am Presentarán a otros cinco GNB tras el decomiso de droga en vuelo de Air France.

        teniente coronel Ernesto Mora Carvajal
        teniente Adanay Parra Sánchez
        sargento primero Randimar Chirinos Álvarez
        los sargentos segundo Johan Ulaves Soler y Gabriel Avendaño Puerta

        Gabriel Reverón Rodríguez, quien se desempeña como efectivo de seguridad en el Aeropuerto Internacional “Simón Bolívar” en Maiquetía
        Luís Alberto Quintero Méndez, supervisor de plataforma, encargado de subir las cargas a los aviones de la mencionada aerolínea.

        Luís Alberto Quintero Méndez was arrested today at work. The rest were detained Monday morning.

        Also arrested September 22:
        el primer teniente José González Ruiz
        el sargento primero Víctor Sanabria Ramírez
        el sargento segundo Nelson Rojas Rodríguez

        I imagine those arrested have received a “plomo o plata” message. If if they try to implicate higher-ups, they will receive much stiffer sentences, and their families will be in danger. If they go quietly, their sentences will be reduced, and their families will received some financial support when they are in prison.

        Given the way Revolutionary Justice and Communicational Hegemony operate, they would have little outlet to get their messages out if they wanted to implicate higher-ups. Like they say, plomo o plata.

    11. btw, Luisa Ortega’s visit on the 19th could have been not related to the cocaine bust but timing is always something to look at. She does meet with guys who are ‘in’ on the operation so her visit did have that purpose too

    12. Seguridad Aeroportuaria
      Tcnel. Ernesto José Mora Carvajalf

      What do we know about this guy? Ten years ago, he blacklisted by the government after the coups of 11A. He was labeled “antichavista.” He managed to hang on to his career and now runs airport security. We know he’s not a loyalist. He was not adept to HCF certainly not to Maduro. This helps to back my rogue theory claim… meaning not with the direct knowledge and approval of the higher ups.

      • What do we know about this guy? Ten years ago, he blacklisted by the government after the coups of 11A. He was labeled “antichavista.”
        Which helps explain why he was highest up in the hierarchy of those arrested so far.

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