Photo: El Universal

This week, the infamous Anti-Hate Law entered a new stage in Cumaná (Sucre State), with its first-ever use against a media outlet: The main board members of newspaper Diario Región Oriente were questioned by officers of Military Intelligence (DGCIM) over an article published on January, 11. Last month, two protesters became the law’s first casualties.

Journalist Yndira Lugo, director of the paper, endured a two-hour meeting, saying the case was brought by a Popular Struggle Circle (Circulo de Lucha Popular), a low-level PSUV branch of Cumaná. The investigation will now pass to the Public Ministry.

The article, titled “The Communists warn!” (¡Los comunistas lo advierten!), is based on quotes made days earlier by Perfecto Abreu, a high-ranking member of the Venezuelan Communist Party, who said that Venezuela is “at the gates of great social unrest” and that the majority of Venezuelans feel “uncertainty, indignation and desperation… over the aggravation of the socio-economic situation in the country.”

With Abreu’s words as backdrop, the article goes into an analysis of 1989’s “Caracazo”, its main causes and the possibility of a similar scenario today. Looks like the 27-F references were alarming enough for some local chavista apparatchiks.

Some of you are probably wondering “what’s a Popular Struggle Circle, anyway?” .

The term came from the PSUV’s 2011 internal document Strategical Lines of Political Action, in which the future organization of the party is outlined. The circles are the second level basic groups, formed from the smaller patrols (which later became the Bolívar-Chávez Battle Units, or UBCH). Four UBCHs form a Popular Struggle Circle (which I’ll refer from now on as “CLP”).

Reading the article, you can see the rationale used by the local CLP members to strike. I admit that the piece is a structural mess, but it also offers different opinions and the main source is a public statement made by a pro-chavista politician, published in other outlets.

This incident isn’t the first rendezvous of Diario Región Oriente with the hegemony: The paper flirted a couple of times with Newsprint-geddon and Yndira Lugo herself was attacked last May by pro-government demonstrators. The National Guard detained her later.

The use of the Anti-Hate Law to coerce the media was something I warned about since its proposal last August. As previous legislation only covered radio, TV and Internet, this one can cover from newspapers to public gatherings and even street graffitis.

At least 20 restrictions against the press were registered on the first month of 2018, according to NGO IPYS Venezuela. Meanwhile, some private outlets decided to keep things quiet by either firing presenters or censor their social networks to avoid talking politics.

This is how the hegemony rolls.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. A “popular struggle circle” sounds like an “ideological bukkake” of blowhards who get together and get themselves off by seeing who can be more “revolucionario.”

    • LOL, When I saw it, I stopped reading and copied that exact phrase for comment here Guacharaca. For the love of sweet baby jesus the end of this leftist nightmare can’t come soon enough.

    • LOL.

      I envisioned less bukkake and more “circle jerk”. But you did nail the definition of these self important revolutionaries. Lefties are always trying to be slightly more outraged than their fellow political travelers, and anytime they can “out-left” each other in the public eye, they will. They think it gives them “cred”.

      It makes them look like whinging cry-babies who can’t win an argument via logic and reason and thus must resort to the weak-minded scoundrels favorite tactic of political force.

  2. The funny thing is that if you enter in the social network accounts of any of the dozens of government controlled news outlets you will see hundreds of people insulting them literally in every single comment box.

    • Which is why Venezuelanalysis.com (correct URL?) stopped taking comments years ago.

      They’ll only post favorable Chavista emails.

      • TeleSur, Vtv, Iguana, etc for example all have facebook accounts and all are filled with hate towards them in the comment boxes of every post. Most top comments are hateful, i guess they can´t block comments and they are too many to erase them all.

        • That’s interesting!

          They can only block a user after he comments…they can’t erase the comment…and I doubt they can keep up with blocking every new user who criticizes them!!!

        • aporrea wasn’t nicknamed “gonorrea” for nothing.

          They used to have comment sections in their news articles, but disabled them after they saw that people wasn’t simply going to give them their masturbatory fantasies of being “the owners of absolute truth from communism”

          I also remember to see how they managed their message boards, which they called “a place for healthy debate with plenty of freedom of speech” but it was actually a latrine filled with the most over the top and ridiculous chavista boot-licking, with some of the members competing to see who could be more of a toady while banning on the spot anyone who dared to disagree with their stupidity.

  3. The Cubazuelan media was thrashed long ago. This laughable law won’t work for Chavismo’s vile Kleptocrats when it matters, after they steal the bogus Presidential ‘elections’. They’d better come up with an “Ley contra el odio a Maduro” real soon..

  4. I still think Trump is going in. Probably after the April election.

    It would help if the fucking opposition had a brain in its head and refused to participate individually or collectively.

  5. We need a law against hate speech like that in the US. If hate had been stopped we wouldn’t have Trump, part of democracy is not allowing anti-democratic forces like Trump to hijack media for their own purposes. Of course when hate is stopped they right wing will screech “censorship”!

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