Last weekend, Nicolas Maduro announced in Bolivia that Telesur, the news/propaganda channel created in 2005 by Venezuela and its allies to “promote Latin American integration” will start broadcasting in English next month.
Telesur has been Chavismo & Friends’ TV mouthpiece for years, but to many the channel has failed in its goal of become an alternative to CNN, BBC or Al Jazzera. In fact, its unabashedly biased coverage of events like the 2011 Libyan Civil War or the ongoing Syrian conflict has shown the channel is more interested in promote an ideological agenda than being a true news channel. It’s sort of a tropicalized RT.
Look no further than right now: their World Cup show is called De Zurda (left-footed), which according to producer Patricia Mantilla:
…will show a particular view of Latin America around the World Cup. The show will present a special point of view that beside the sports angle, will analyze the social, political and cultural reality of the participating countries and promote Latin American integration.”
And guess who’s one of the hosts? No other than Diego Armando Maradona (along with veteran sport broadcaster Victor Hugo Morales). That’s right. And he didn’t waste any time in attacking FIFA in the show (but in the end, who doesn’t have a beef with FIFA these days? I do. So does Quico.) Now, he blames them of banning him from entering Maracana before the Argentina-Bosnia game of days ago.
And who was one of its first guests? Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa. Not your average sport show alright.
The communicational hegemony insists on keeping Telesur alive and relaunch so it can go unwatched in yet another language. But as RT’s coverage of the Ukrainian coverage proved not long ago, all the Russian gas money in the world cannot buy credibility the way you can buy premiership footballers. Audiences can smell the propaganda miles away, and doubly so for sophisticated audiences with easy access to much better sources. The one upside? This is State TV “crossword puzzle expert” Miguel Perez Pirela’s big chance for international stardom…