Notes on the Venezuelan Media Blackout


In a recent nationwide broadcast of a Peace Summit between the Government and some opposition people (none of the actors involved in the current crisis attended), Venevisión’s Carlos Bardasano, speaking on behalf of private media, gave a brief speech: “I believe everything has been said, you can count on the private media to help build peace.”

This statement summed up the complete situation of media restriction and censorship in Venezuela.

A little background

In 2007, Conatel (the Venezuelan media authority), under orders of President Chávez, refused to renew the broadcasting license of RCTV, Venezuela’s oldest private network. The authorities pointed to the channel’s alleged participation in a coup against the President in 2002. Since then, Chávez managed to obtain a stringent grasp over the other two national private mainstream networksnetworks, Venevisión and Televen. Globovisión, a local news channel, remained the stronghold of hard-line opposition news and opinion.

The shutdown of RCTV was a massive scandal, and came at a high price. That same year, due to a movement that originated from the crackdown on RCTV, Chávez lost a referendum for a reform of the Constitution, one that would “consolidate” his socialist revolution. After Chávez’s death, having learned from his mentor’s mistakes, President Nicolás Maduro, did not dismantle Globovisión. Instead, the network was bought by a group close to the government, and immediately changed its editorial line in the government’s favor.

Two laws have been enacted to control the media. One regulates content (which remains the gun in the drawer), and a most recent one creates CESSPA, a government agency with broad powers to censor news and spy on Venezuelans.

Last year, during the April 14th elections, the government pulled the plug on the Internet —just for the heck of it. Sounds ridiculous, yes. One can only imagine the Vice-president, Jorge Arreaza, sitting at his desk, cracking his fingers, staring at the doomsday button. The VP admitted to his deed. It was to “avoid damage by fascist hackers.”

In the past months, independent newspapers have been reporting that the foreign exchange administration has not approved the dollars needed to import the paper required to print. Some of these newspapers are on the verge of shutting down, most of them have sacrificed complete sections to stretch their chances for a few more months or weeks. Other ones have shut down altogether.

Administrative censorship during the crisis

On February 12th, when the protests went haywire after two students had been shot in the head, Colombian news channel NTN24 was reporting on the events live from Caracas. The channel suddenly disappeared from the Venezuelan cable grid. The government stated it was pulled because the channel was “promoting violence.” CNN en Español was reporting in the same manner. Venezuelan government officials suggested that the news channel could be taken off the grid as well, and CNN has been struggling to maintain “editorial balance.”

National TV networks do not transmit relevant information on the protests. Their content remains as unwatchable as ever.

Internet Choke

During the evening of February 12th one of the two main outlets of news, Twitter (the other one being Facebook), could not display photos. Twitter confirmed that, in fact, the Venezuelan government had caused the disruption. State owned CANTV (the telecom company that controls 95% of Internet connections in the country) denied that there had been any tampering with the system, that Twitter servers were located outside the country.

Internet connection in Venezuela is among the slowest in the world. Even when Venezuelans of all economic ranges are technology freaks, the average connection speed is a paltry 1.5 Mbps. During the crisis users of the fastest connection available (8 to 10 Mbps.) have reported an excruciatingly slow 0.14 Mbps. Tachira state, which has been the subject of chavista “asymmetric war” techniques, was cut off the Internet for a whole day.

La Patilla,  an opposition-oriented news site, has been under attack by government-supporting hackers (??), and different sites which provide information on the protests or tools to bypass the blackout have been blocked.

Aggressions towards journalists

Many local journalists have been victims of aggressions by the National Guard and the Police. Some have been taken under arrest. This courtesy has been extended to foreign journalists as well. Colombian correspondent, Juan Pablo Bieri, witnessed how the National Guard tortured students while he himself was taken into custody., the same guys who trolled the North Korean government, pulled out one of their journalists on assignment in Venezuela, because of too many death threats (most likely by government friendly paramilitary groups). And in a place like Venezuela, threats are to be taken, well, as promises.

Aggressions don’t just come from public order forces or paramilitary groups, some come from government officials as well. CNN Español’s Patricia Janiot was kicked out of the country after a debate between chavista and opposition students (and one Mr. @juliococo) where the government supporters were left exposed as being disconnected from the country’s real problems. “There’s freedom of expression in Venezuela,” one of the chavista students said. Janiot reported she was verbally mistreated and searched for drugs as she left Maiquetia Airport.

Piercing the Blackout

With national television under the control of the government and newspapers about to disappear, the opposition seems to be outgunned in what the President has called “mediatic wars.” There are thousands of demonstrators, however, camera ready, eager to report each detail of the conflict. This situation has also led to the digitalization of the general population, learning about proxies, and minimum hacking techniques to bypass the blackout.


On the night of the 15th, a couple of days after the first peak of violence, there was, once again, nothing on National TV that would show there was any sort of public disturbance. 180.000 people, however, were hooked to an online streaming signal from a laptop camera pointing at a street corner of the Municipality of Chacao, where the students had been engaging the National Guard. Images resembled that of a civil war. 180.000 viewers is more rating than most public and private networks currently have.

One of the most shocking aggressions happened recently in La Isabelica, Valencia. A female National Guard beat a lady in the face with her helmet while sitting on her rib cage. The event features its own photo shoot, and videos from two different angles. Of all human rights violations that have happened these days, this may be the best documented of them all. Just a few hours after the photos were posted online the aggressor was —allegedly— identified, and pictures from her Facebook profile started to pop up all over the web. In the end, you start to wonder, who is watching whom.

Despite all the means of censorship in the government’s hands, thousands of photos and hundreds of videos of abuse by Venezuelan public forces are circling the globe. But steady media coverage abroad has been hard to retain. The worldwide news attention span seems to depend on how much blood your tragedy draws. As a foreign correspondent was heard saying around these parts: “it is too bad, my friend, this happened at the same time as Ukraine.”

124 thoughts on “Notes on the Venezuelan Media Blackout

  1. Yeah, what an incredible media blackout! I just can’t find ANY voices that are critical of the government on the Venezuelan private media in recent days. Well, except for every 2 seconds:


    • By the way, I found all of these links in the span of about 10 minutes. That’s how long it takes to refute the utter nonsense that is regularly praised on this website. Here’s a few more:


      • Spinning again.

        Press conferences and posh interviews aside. Can you find any real on the ground reporting, do you have any video af a Venezuelan national over-the-air TV channel broadcasting GNB officers beating Marvinia Jimenez? Or the shooting of Alejandro Marquez in La Candelaria?

        Some live coverage of the 22F event?


        • Go look for it yourself. There are so many videos of opposition voices and real-time events that it makes any claim of a “blackout” completely untenable. But you all are the kings of clinging to untenable claims now aren’t you?

          I wouldn’t be surprised if the most graphic images of violence are not being televised, but that means that opposition violence is also not being televised.


          • The post denounces that the media isn’t reporting the important events, like the repression or the rallies.

            Then you say, the post is wrong because you found some studio interviews and posh pieces.

            I asked you to refute the point of the post, by showing us relevant tcoverage of the GNB brutality or the rallies.

            You dodged. Again.

            And by the way. Not only has the governement shown rioters attacking metrobus on national cadena, Globovisión has been quite happy to show them on their own time as well. So it isn’t true that “[it] means that opposition violence is also not being televised”


            • I have already posted several videos of coverage of the rallies, and GNB response, etc. But nice try anyway. As I said, you guys are kinds of clinging to untenable claims.


              • Does the video exist? I mean, I know it happened, and I condemn violence, but is there a video to televise? (non-rethorical question).

                Because the events I referred ARE documented in video. But the TV stations in Venezuela have not transmited them in any meaningful way.

                CNNE on the other hand, transmits the governement’s videos, press conferences and events live, and does the same with those from the opposition. CNNE had no problem transmitting the videos from the two cases I mentioned. If there’s a video of the GNB officer’s shooting in Valencia, it would be fair for both situations to get the same coverage.

                Because, if there’s a video and the governement does transmit it to portray all opposition activities as violent, and the media then follows their lead, it would be another example of the governments side getting the lion’s share of the TV exposue in Venezuela.


              • I see you’ve reduced your claim from a “media blackout” to the government getting the “lion’s share” of coverage. Neither are true, but I see how quickly you become flexible with your terminology when confronted on your bullshit.

                I don’t know if there is video of the murder of the GNB, but there are PLENTY of other videos of opposition violence that have not been televised by private media, including this attack:

                So using your logic that must mean there is a pro-opposition “media blackout”.


              • I see you’ve reduced your claim from a “media blackout” to the government getting the “lion’s share”

                My point has never been the entire opposition is shunned. It has been that the media refuses to cover the rallies and the most damning events. The ones that prove (as opposed to comment) GNB brutality.

                On the other hand… the video you mention… has it been broadcasted over SIBCI media?

                We are saying there’s a deliberate imbalance, derived from government censorship. Showing us the 20% that gets through, doesn’t disprove that 80% is being censored.


              • “My point has never been the entire opposition is shunned. It has been that the media refuses to cover the rallies and the most damning events. The ones that prove (as opposed to comment) GNB brutality.”

                And you are wrong, because opposition violence is ALSO not televised, because there are laws against broadcasting violence. So there is not a “deliberate imbalance”. Anyone who watches Globovision, Venevision, or Televen can clearly see there is not an imbalance. Both sides get a voice.

                But I know, I know, you guys really miss the days when ALL the media were on your side and were constantly calling for the overthrow of the government. Funny, I don’t remember you guys complaining about a “deliberate imbalance” back then. Is this concern for “balance” a recently acquired principle of yours, or should we just assume you’re as dishonest as you appear?

                By the way, your “peaceful” protesters are still shooting people.



          • Anon, I, at least, will not fall for your word quibble. Just because *some* opposition material gets through does not mean you have proven false the use of the word blackout. You remind me of that Winston Churchill exchange about “we’ve already established what kind of woman you are; now, we’re just haggling”.


            • Anyone with eyes can see that there’s a lot more than just “some” opposition voices in the media. But I know recognizing reality has often been a problem around here.


              • Anon, anyone with eyes can see the if *any* voices get left out, the word “blackout” can be used for them. But I know recognizing reality has often been a problem to you, so you opt to quibble words to deny a valid argument.


              • “Anon, anyone with eyes can see the if *any* voices get left out, the word “blackout” can be used for them.”

                Yes, if ANY voices are left out, then it is a blackout. In that case there is a media blackout in every nation on the planet. I like how you guys just redefine words to fit whatever context you want. Pogrom? Blackout? Coup? Nah… just a forced resignation, right?

                Keep them coming. This is fun.


              • Anon,

                Again, Anon, you’re just quibbling with words. The crux of the matter is that the news is not being reported commensurate to the population’s interest, and this is due to a pressure from a government more concerned with party lines than with its role representing the *whole* population.

                “4. a situation in which journalists are officially prevented from reporting news about something
                ” ‘a news/media blackout’ ”

                “Media blackout refers to the censorship of news related to a certain topic, particularly in mass media, for any reason. A media blackout may be voluntary, or may in some countries be enforced by the government or state. The latter case is controversial in peacetime, as some regard it as a human rights violation and repression of free speech. Press blackout is a similar phrase, but refers specifically to printed media.”

                By definition, Venezuela is having a media blackout, and you are quibbling words saying much more about your ill intent than about any misuse of English by us.


              • “The crux of the matter is that the news is not being reported commensurate to the population’s interest”

                Uh, I posted right here on this page dozens of videos of the news covering the protests, interviewing opposition people, etc.

                I’m assuming you aren’t in Venezuela and can’t just turn on the TV. If you were, you’d realize just how ridiculous you sound.


              • Anon, for someone pretending to be objective, you sidestepped the key word “commensurate”. All the videos you posted are nowhere near the number of transmissions counter to the massive number of events protesting and the massive number of people interested in the protests.

                Your bias is clear, and sadly against freedom of the press.


      • Presumably you understand that when all the government stations fail to provide coverage of important events occurring in the country, that is because they are censoring the information to the best of their ability.

        Yes, it is true that if you are alerted to the events yourself, and have access to modern technology, you can evade the censorship.

        That capacity for evasion is a credit to the viewer, it does not provide an excuse for the censor.


    • I’m glad you defend freedom of information and don’t deny human rights violations of all kind.
      You’re definitely a trooper


    • Stuart if people were to stop feeding him he would get bored after while and stop.It doesn’t do any good whatsoever to debate him.


  2. I don’t really agree with showing our problem to the international community. I think problem was created by us and should be solved by us.
    IF we get international intervention it will be a big oxygen bottle for this government. You will validate the “economic war and US against the poor revolution” propaganda which at the end is what feeds the revolution. The 51% that voted for Maduro doesn’t really have means to surf the internet or connect to twitter. They know what they see through VTV, VV, or Meridiano so showing them the proofs that gringos wants to attack will consolidate the revolution.
    And lets be honest, international pressure will never be the reason why Maduro resigns. If you don’t believe me ask Cuba, Korea, Nigeria, Burma, and any other country with the same situation.
    This must be solved by Venezuela, and only by Venezuela.


      • But gringos or Europeans cant solve it either!!!! That’s my point, if we wait for a foreign solution instead we will be doomed. They just don’t care unless we become a threat to their interest and there they will intervene based on a financial urgency forgetting the moral consequences.
        We can solve it, we need to learn the basics. We need to learn that this country can only succeed if everyone pull to the same side. If not, this will a power transfer that will get back in another 10 years. Cycles that never end and the dog chases his own tail


        • They don’t have to come in a shoot anyone. They could stop buying oil from us! An embargo will screw us all but, it will be hard on the people that follow the regime, like the troll Anon. The regime has no money so, how will they pay their followers?? How will they give them a bozal de arepa? Then, and only then, we will all be in the same page and the chavistas, trolls included, will join us.


          • Exactly. Rubio already started the talk and discussions on oil independence are already happening in the USA. Need the Europeans to join as well. They already started. In the mean time, we need to continue with the pacific demonstrations. We need to go “Gocho”, every week, every month. Forget Carnival. It will be a sacrifice, our families will suffer, but the alternative is worth.


            • Again, short of a UN resolution with all nations abiding by it makes the oil argument moot. Why? Fungibility.

              The price may drop a tad, but the money will continue to flow in as the oil flows out.

              Do you really expect China and India to stop buying up production?

              Incidentally, Rubio is simply grandstanding; nothing will happen via-a-vis El Norte. The worst possible scenario that the opposition or protesters could ask for would be the involvement of gringolandia. It will rally the chavistas and make the Eternal Comandante seem like a prophet. It would guarantee chavismo another 20 years in power without having to even think about monkeying with elections.


              • The type of oil that comes out of Venezuela is particularly crude. The only refineries capable of handling it in volume are in the Gulf. China is increasing the amount of this oil they can process but still are not there.

                A US embargo on Venezuelan oil would have immediate effects.


              • China and India would not stop buying oil, but it is a hell more expensive to haul it all the way from Venezuela. Maybe we need to let the world do what it wants to do, we just need to keep the pressure internally.


              • Pitiyanqui , dont want to get technical but Iran is practically next door to India and China and if sanctions on iran oil sales are lifted much of the Venezuelan oil now being bought by India and China will start to be purchased from Iran . I dont think the US will seriously consider banning Venezuelan oil sales to the US but if it does even if the general price of oil remains unnafected its bound to affect the already battered health of Pdvsa finances at a time when these are extremely fragile . Now if to that you add a ban on US gasoline product exports to Venezuela and a freeing of US crude volumes to the export market , the twin effects of both measures could be very painful to Venezuelan finances, because the price of Venezuelan imports of gazoline products would likely increase ( if the volumes can be found) and the price of international crude oil would tend to fall a bit .!! Not saying its going to happen only that if it did the effect would not be good for the regimes currently threatened finances. !!


    • The international community is definetely a player. The problem is the international community is helping THEM.

      Foreign dollars and loans are helping the government increase its popularity on election campaigns.
      Foreign assets and bank accounts are protecting their ill-gotten wealth
      Foreign mouthpieces improve their moral standing
      Venezuelans are insufficiently protected under institutions that were supposed to provide collective defense of democracy (ICHR, democratic charter, etc)
      Foreing countries like El Salvador, dropped the ball on Asylum requests (they rebuffed Henry Vivas and Lazaro Forero)
      Foreign countries are the main enforcers of no extra-constitutional solutions (like when they pressured Chavez’ April 13th come-back)



      • They just don’t care!!! We are a business for them, there is no humanity or social interest. I might be ignorant but I don’t a sample in my mind that helps me understand that a government will fail is foreign assets are frozen.
        DO you think they really care if we die? Why do you think they are starting to show the Venezuelan chaos on the international news? Oil process went up and they need to understand why. That’s it, pure economic. Nothing else.
        Why are they interested in Ukraine? geopolitics and positioning. Go and check Russia’s position within Ukraine and let me know if this wouldn’t be a good place to be for the US.
        This should be solved by us, and will not be solved violently if we want to move forward. If it goes that way, we might succeed but only for a short time because they will be back and the history will repeat as it repeated for the last 200 years.


        • ” I dont a sample in my mind that helps me understand that a government will fail is foreign assets are frozen”

          Pepe you evidently dont follow the news much , the govt has gone through a lot of trouble to protect its assets abroad because being so dependent on its oil exports to meet its many obligations and needs any freezing of those assets can have very adverse consequences on its finances and capacity to fund itself . This is particularly true now that the regimes is in dire financial straits with reserves at an all time low .!! I share your view that it wont happen however I also think that the regimes finances being so fragile the danger to the regime of any freezing of its foreing assets is very real !!.

          Same as you dont think the US will do anything very dramatic in the way of helping efect a regime change , the only way I see something like that happening is if the right wing militaristic fringe of US political opinion increase their control of congress and pressure the govt to take more direct action against the regime , Believe Senator McCain suggested something of the sort in a recent press conference . Not likely to happen but with politics you can never tell !!.


        • I partially agree with bill bass.

          Freezing not only State assets and accounts, but also those of the officials (like ministers, congresspeople, high ranking military officers, governors, mayors, etc) is a sure way to weaken their position and to prevent them from trickling down money to keep things going in lower echelons. It would also nudge some officials who disagree with this, to come forward with their disaproval, as it would be in their best interest to put some distance between the repression and themselves in order, so they can recover their assets.

          In Ukraine, these sanctions were applied against high ranking officials of the Yanukovich administration, and are widely credited with speeding his demise.

          I don’t think we want nor need the US militaristic right to get too adamant. But the Miami lobby and latino congreespeople in general are starting to articulate some interesting targeted measures. Maybe the White House is waiting for some specific lines to be crossed. I just don’t want them too fall into the Chavista trap.


  3. It’s time for trollage…..

    Also: In 2007, Conatel (the Venezuelan media authority), under orders of President Chávez, refused to renew the broadcasting license of RCTV,

    Sweet jeebus… that can’t be right, 6 years?


  4. Anon,
    the Venezuelan media blackout is quite refined. The opposition is allowed into the waves and they can voice their views. The blackout is a blackout on the EVENTS. It is similar to the in-famous April 12 blackout except that this has been prolonged for several weeks.


        • Venevision even refers to Marvinia as “Joven Imputada” as opposed to “Joven Agredida”, “Joven Golpeada”, or nay other adjetive.



          • Oh wow, great proof of the “blackout”. I mean, they interviewed her and everything, but they referred to her by what Navarro considers to be the wrong ADJECTIVE!!! My gosh, what an incredible media blackout!!


            • Well… Presenting her as merely and Imputada, glosses over the fact that she was brutally attacked, as per the photos and videos I’ve linked in response to yoy before, and narrates the event from the government’s POV. Glossing over that unjustified attack is a blackout of the repression.


              • Just because she was attacked doesn’t mean she isn’t ALSO guilty of a crime. None of the videos show what happened right before the altercation, but we can presume that she wasn’t offering flowers to the GNB, and was likely involved in the violence that can be seen on the video right before.

                The media coverage didn’t “gloss over” anything. They interviewed her about the attack and let her speak out. If anything, they have “glossed over” what she actually did to provoke the attack, which was engage in illegal and violent activities. That doesn’t justify the beating, but it also doesn’t make her innocent.


              • There’s proof of the GNB brutality. She was subdued, and the officer beat her, when she wasn’t a threat. That’s unjustified violence.

                What happen before has two versions:
                – Marvinia says she was recording GNB brutality towards students, and the GNB officer targeted her to get rid of the material.
                – The State says she, a very thin woman, alone, with a disability in a leg and an arm, no weapon, no bulletproof vest, and no helmet, presented a threat to the GNB officer surrounded by tons of buddies, armed, protected with a bulletproff vest, helmet and riot control gear.

                For anyone in their right mind, version 1 ys way more believable than version 2.

                For two reasons:

                – The GNB lost credibility on account of the brutality, and they have a reason to try to justify their actions as a response, with no proof but their testimonies.

                – GNB agression towards people filming their brutality has been denounced by several people, including national and foreign journalists.


              • She didn’t present a threat, but she did confront (violently or not) a group of state officials who were attempting to disperse a violent group of opposition protesters. Like I said, this does not justify what the GNB did to her, but it also does not mean she is innocent. In the US, if you approach police officers who are trying to disperse a crowd they will immediately throw you to the ground and arrest you. I’ve seen this first hand on numerous occasions. If nothing else, she was breaking the law by not dispersing as ordered by the police.

                None of this would have ever happened if violent opposition groups weren’t destroying private property and throwing stones at the police. But I notice you are incapable of even recognizing any fault on the part of the opposition, even when they are blatantly violent and breaking the law.


              • None of this would have ever happened if violent opposition groups weren’t destroying private property and throwing stones at the police.

                Whaaaa? Chris Carlson who supports criminals in the Venezuelan government, now urges a defense of private property. Why haven’t we heard that defense from you, when in previous years — and there have been many — the government has repeatedly stormed into private property, destroyed and overtaken it, without due process?

                You’re a sham Chris Carlson.

                Now, after 15 years of your mockery revolution, which has produced an incrementally higher crime rate to the point of Venezuela having among the highest crime rate in the world, now after 15 years of your mockery revolution, shortages are rampant of basic food stuffs (unless you listen to the delusional Greg Wilpert who’s lining his pockets with leftist geld), now after 15 years of your mockery revolution, the government disrespects the dignities of the people and especially the poor, now after 15 years of your mockery revolution, an opposition that does not count on the armaments of a government or government-backed forces, is pissed off, you have the gall to twist information and facts on a blog whose readers know better.

                You have a severe mental imbalance, Chris Carlson. No wonder this criminal government attracts people like you.

                P.S. In case you’re busy trying to further manipulate the opposition as from a certain income strata, this may help dispel the notion. Or, as one personality stated: “Te jodiste Maduro. Ya bajaron del cerro.”

                Yeiker Guerra from Petare sees things clearly. Not so, Chris Carlson, who is still in a muddle, still trying to defend the years spent on manipulating information on a regime that provides a cover for the mentally imbalanced members of society.



              • Well yes, Yeiker is a PJ activist from Petare -the largest slum in Latin America- where PJ mayor Carlos Ocariz has been elected twice. Should CNNE have presented him as a party activist? Yes. Is his view of Petare invalid because he’s a political activist? No.

                From your own link, a commentor explained the several awards and scholarships he’s earned to be where he is right now.


  5. Must confess that the notion of one US marine division wiping their asses with the whole host of revolutionary armed bodies now present in Venezuela in two weeks flat is one which has crossed my imagination , and the thought is …….well……. shuddering.??

    I for one dont see it happening , the US no longer believes in that kind of direct intervention , too costly to international relations and not worth the effort now that newly discovered sources for oil production are making Venezuelan ol supplies increasingly irrelevant.

    They might do other wicked things however , for example, out of sheer malice they might ban or put a tax on all oil product exports to Venezuela or to all oil imports from Venezuela , have expert hackers inutilize all the govt systems, go after Venezuelan assets abroad when the govt becomes unable to meet its many financial commitments to western companies or lenders. The possibilities are endless. .Not sure theyll do that either unless very conservative elements increase their presence in US Congress or other US govt bodies come next election . For that you would probably need the Venezuelan govt to do things that make it a legitimate target of US hostile measures for most americans , such as the show on US TV of scenes of heinous brutal repression of freedom fighting Venezuelan students. But of course the govts communicational blackout is not going to allow that to happen.!!

    If the govt is not going to allow any breathing room for the half of Venezuelans that care about their freedom and their future fate anyway , If those Venezuelas are going to be entrapped and suffocated in another oppresive Cuba , why should they care what the US decides to do in Venezuela or if Chavista bulwarks are dissapointed or not in what they watch on govt tv.

    The problem with the notion of leaving Venezuelans to settle their differences between themselves is that , such idea would involve expelling of all Cuban intervention forces from Venezuela and the regime would never go for that !!. So that is a non starter . .

    Remember when general Noriega wielding his machete before a huge. crowd of widly shouting supporters thretened to recieve any US invasion with a wall of fire and two weeks later watching all those die hard patriots become invisible and poor Gneral Noriega marching with handcuffs on to board a plane taking him to an american court and prison . It all looks so complicated , wonder what the future will bring ..


  6. You missed to mention another example of information’s censorship: the new control on our “novelas”. Soap operas are the culprits of violence, thus they should be banned.


  7. Anon, I realize that you, as a Chávez-lovin’ idealist are chuffed by realities regarding the attempts of the Venezuelan government to blackout the media. You know, like the Cuban government does to its citizens. Or are you not aware of that, either?

    I agree with Bruni: these blackouts are quite refined. This morning I couldn’t post on Facebook — though I tried repeatedly — a link to the website of a grassroots opposition political party, in which damning evidence appeared, meaning, a speech that revealed the names of the Cuban G2 operatives, in Venezuela. Fortunately, those in charge of the government’s “communication hegemony” (don’t you and yours love the big fat words created to deceive!) could not block YouTube presentations on Facebook. And it was a YouTube clip that announced the names of those Cuban G2 operatives in Venezuela.

    It took some finagling to get around the facebook block of that Venezuelan grassroots political party. But I did it. And the message of the sinister aspects behind this “revolution” went out.

    Only idiots would deny that there is nothing afoot, that there is no media manipulation. P.S. Didya get a load of the government’s display of photoshopped crowds on what are empty beaches, in Venezuela, this Carnival weekend, which began this morning?)

    Try again, chump. Goebbels lives.


    • So its a “blackout”, but its also “quite refined” because it regularly airs opposition voices and the major events going on in the country. BUT you couldn’t post a video on facebook. I see. That makes perfect sense.

      It seems like its so “refined” that it actually isn’t a blackout at all. But, oh well, its just semantics right? Its kind a like when you call something a “pogrom” when in fact no deaths occurred at all that day. And in total there are less deaths than what opposition riots causes after last year’s elections (when, by the way, you all hardly mentioned the deaths, if at all.)


      • Any censorship is reprehensible. If the government allows 20% of the information to get through, so what? People have a right to know these things.


        • Funny thing about these claims of “blackout” in Venezuela. We don’t have to look far to see what the media would look like with the opposition in power. When they came to power for two days back in 2002 there was a COMPLETE AND TOTAL blackout of what was happening on the streets.

          Or how about when your idol CAP was massacring the poor during the Caracazo? ZERO media coverage. Too bad we can’t get those people back in power so we could have a better media blackout, no?


          • “[…] CAP was massacring the poor during the Caracazo? ZERO media coverage”
            What are you talking about? People didn’t have cellphone cameras back then. The footage that DOES exist of the pillage, of the military repression, was recorded by TV stations, and played by them. If anything, at that time the media was criticized because their live coverage of the pillaging might have encouraged more pillaging.

            ” When they came to power for two days back in 2002 there was a COMPLETE AND TOTAL blackout of what was happening on the streets”
            The media happily recorded the Coup, the post-coup arrests of the likes of Chacín, etc.
            They couldn’t cover the street protests, because Chavistas were aggressive towards the private media. Remember when they laid a siege on RCTV and were throwing stones on April 13th?


            • Hahahahahaha!!! What a joke. So the opposition shut-down of VTV and the orders that journalists provide no coverage of pro-Chavez protesters were the fault of…. wait for it….. the Chavistas!

              And the media during the Caracazo almost unanimously defended the government, and tried to minimize the seriousness of the massacre. Basic history.


              • Chris/Anon: if you want the smallest bit of credibility on this blog, don’t provide manipulated clips, but direct source material. You know that the latter exists. And yet, you prefer the manipulated material to suit your criminal affections.


          • look TROLL , By then A lot of the Military in the current government participated, And by that Time an state of emergency was declared…10 days curfew… And the media was blamed for transmitting the riots and looting. And during 2002, the media was blamed for the blackout with cartoons..But people like you need to go to psychological help, I am not kidding, they are studying personality traits in trolls, not good


    • yeah, those sites are blocked so that the Anons of the world can skip in their flimsy little dresses through the tulips, without criteria, nor the will to check out reality in Venezuela. Evidently, Anons are too young and too innocent; they have neither lived in a dictatorship, nor read any history of dictatorial regimes. #DumbAsses.

      As for the live stream, well dictatorships have limits as to their collective grey matter. Something’s bound to slip. Or, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln … you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.


  8. In Venezuela all independent/critical flow of information to the public runs through a spigot which the govt controls at its convenience , which it can open or shut as it desires . Normally they allow a trickle of that flow of information to reach the public to make the world believe there is freedom of information as a kind of PR exercise . At the same time they follow a relentless policy of making that trickle smaller and smaller as time passes ,They don’t shut it up entirely but they make sure everybody know that they can totally shut it up anytime they want , they use that as a pressure lever , “be careful about what you report or we will make the trickle smaller or stop it altogether.”.

    Now that the eyes of the world have focused on what happening in Venezuela they may open the trickle a bit to assure the world that the protesters denunciation of the govts suffocation of a free media flow of information is exaggerated . That may last as long as convenient , then if things settle down they’ll go back to their old policy of making the trickle ever so smaller until for all practical purposes its shut up.

    That’s not freedom of information under any democratic conception of what freedom of information is all about .

    To be able to say that there is freedom of information them all direct or indirect, crass or disguised persecutory pressure of independent and critical media would have to dissapear .

    That would mean at least to have the full spectrum of free media we had 6 years ago restored to the airways , broadcasting any information or opinion as might be broadcast in any free country , that would mean the return of the RCTV signal , of the old Globovision Signal , of all those radio stations that were shut down to silence any radio news critical of the govt in places like Los teques and others . That would mean being able to listen to the wonderful music and programs of the now defunct Radio Cultural de Caracas. .

    Showcasing anecdotal cases were some odd free information is allowed into the airways is no proof that we have freedom of the press in Venezuela . Specially as tomorrow or any time in future such information will be subject to silencing by an homogenized govt friendly information regime .


    • “In Venezuela all independent/critical flow of information to the public runs through a spigot which the govt controls at its convenience , which it can open or shut as it desires .”

      Uh, no, the media has to follow the law, as they do in any democratic country. They can’t openly call for the overthrow of the government as they regularly did from 2001 to 2005ish, and they can’t instigate violence, or urge people to break the law. IN fact, they continue to blatantly distort the facts, as they did last year by insinuating that Maduro was not legitimately elected. The effects of that led to riots, and we are still seeing the consequences as most of the opposition protesters think Maduro did not win the elections.

      Its such an incredible “media blackout” that half the population thinks the government is illegitimate.


      • Where there is no rule of law and no independent judiciary, as is clearly the case in Venezuela ,Moreover where the regime has manouvered and intimidated all to ensure its tyranical control of all institutions laws are interpreted and enforced abusively by its minions so as to squash free information and freedom of opinion.

        The regime’s spurious characterization of the freedom of information and opinion exercised by independent media as unlawful to arbitrarily suit its quest for absolute power is not legitimate . There has been more violent language and instigation to unlawful acts from the side of the regime than ever was the case for anyone in the opposition and yet the courts remain silent because they are illegitimately controlled by the regime. .

        The independent media report of events is absolutely truthful and correct , the regimes interpretation that stating such truths is seditious is proof of the regimes attempts tp only allow information that falsely and farcically serve its sectarian political purposes..

        This regime is illegitimate not ONLY because it used fraud and coercion to affect the electoral results but because of the way it daily and flagrantly violates the constitution and all democratic principles to install itself as tyrannical overlords over an oppressed population with the active support of the forces of a foreign power, Cuba, which interests are put before those of the Venezuelan people .

        The media blackout has failed to shut down all flow of information about the ongoing peoples protest movement because the people themselves have used their ingenuity and new communicational appliances to let out the truth. !!


        • zzzzzzzzzz… utter nonsense. Allow me to translate:

          I have no proof of any of my allegations, but I’ll just ramble on and make a bunch of unsubstantiated claims to justify the overthrow of a democratically elected government.

          There really is a media blackout, even though they media openly report the events and regularly air critical voices. Because “media blackout” means whatever we want it to mean.


          • In your gross misrepresentation and falsification of obvious truths and proben facts you show your self a true minion of the illegitimate regime that now oppresses us. . No proof will ever be good for you that reveals the govts corruption , mismanagement and crimes . Youve deliberately blinded your self from seeing its persecution of free media , free information and independent opinion, as everywhere revealed through its blunders and blatantly despotic acts ,

            The proof is out there if you just listen to people and see the events as they are revealed to the world through the many information sources which despite the blackout manage to scape the siege of its repressive communicational apparatus

            If the ‘zzz’ represent your state of deep mental stupor you ve expressed yourself quite well.!!..


            • “No proof will ever be good for you”

              Uh, you didn’t provide a single “proof”. Indeed, you gave no answer to the dozens of links I provided that show the “blackout” claims are complete nonsense.


              • Why do the links you provide need an answer? Have you asked a question? All your (presumably paid for) trolling rants prove nothing and certainly don’t disprove the blog post you are commenting on.


              • “Why do the links you provide need an answer?”

                Because they directly contradict the bullshit claims being made here. Amazing I even have to explain that, but indicative of your level of intelligence.


  9. Raul, excellent post. Bardasano, I’m sure you/Cisneros will continue “keeping the peace” in Venezuela by selling out democracy to protect your business interests. GAC/Anon., as usual, defending the indefensible, by arguing over the definition of “blackout”.


    • Defending the indefensible would be those of you who are defending attempts to overthrow a democratically elected government. Those who never mention what the media situation was like before, where private channels openly called for the overthrow of the government, and openly promoted coups by manipulating footage. Defending the indefensible would be giving your support to the private media, and the opposition leadership that when they came to power on April 11th immediately shut down any pro-Chavez media, and imposed a COMPLETE blackout of protests in the streets. Not only is it defending the indefensible, it is ridiculously hypocritical.


      • Democratically? Oh dear, you are probably beyond help. Controlling the media in a coup attempt is what usually happens, April 11th…what year? Controlling the media in a totalitarian nightmare is also par for the course. How is it hypocritical to decry gross and obvious attempts to control the media now just because it was done by ‘the other side’ 12 years ago? Are you saying that everyone who complains now were instigators of media censorship 12 years ago? To claim hypocrisy that must be what you are saying…Are you?


        • “Controlling the media in a coup attempt is what usually happens, April 11th…what year?”

          Like I said: defending the indefensible.

          “How is it hypocritical to decry gross and obvious attempts to control the media now just because it was done by ‘the other side’ 12 years ago?”

          Because you still support the very people who did it, and still want them to come back to power. You complain about a supposed “media blackout” in which tons of opposition voices can be heard on a daily basis, while at the same time yearn for the return of an opposition that imposed a complete and total blackout as soon as they came to power.


          • I don’t support the people who did it. You don’t understand, immediate control of media outlets (airports, major arteries etc) is what happens in coups whoever does it. I’m not defending it but read ‘Coups 101’ (that’s not a real publication btw)

            However, year on year media control, closing outlets that disagree with you and sanitizing output in other outlets whilst enforcing government propaganda across all public media plus selective closing/ banning/ blocking internet and social media is what happens in failing totalitarian states.


            • “I don’t support the people who did it. ”

              You don’t support Leopoldo Lopez? Because he was right there as they explained their plan to overthrow the government in 2002. Hey, it sounds like virtually the same plan they have today! What a coincidence!


  10. “I believe everything has been said, you can count on the private media to help build peace.” Osea, we’re too scared to speak the truth so we’re going to carry on like nothing is happening while we make a good buck out of the whole situation (Cisneros)


  11. Silly CC, don’t you understand, not showing the street violence by the GNB is lawful. If they were to show it, that would break the law against “images of violent content, guns, physical aggression, bloody scenes and naked cadavers.”

    Instead we’ll show sometimes stupid talking points from people behind a microphone who call denounce the very real violence that is happening. But we can’t verify if what is being said is true because again that would violate the law against “images of violent content, guns, physical aggression, bloody scenes and naked cadavers.” So you’ll just have to take the word of these very hysterical people behind the microphone.


  12. The Nazis had within its huge concentration camp system one camp , Theresianstadt , where conditions were bad but not as bad as in the rest of the camps, and which theNazis used as an artificial showcase to persude the world how benign conditions under nazi concentration camps were. Conditions of course were terrible but whenever the nazis had a Red Cross Party coming to inspect their system they would spruce things out for a while , paint the buildings , give the inmate better clothes, make them perform music in improvised orchestras . As soon as the Red Cross people where out of the door things would be back to normal , and the beatings and hunger rations and abuses would start again .!

    The regime is viscerally Nazi in its disrespect for all human rights and values, in its worship of absolute power and in their practice of deception and the ruthless thugish mistreatment and persecution of its enemies . So it shouldnt surprise us , that from time to time , when the world takes note of what happening in Venezuela they create an artificial showcase moment where some of their abuses are temporarily relaxed to serve as a kind of showcase situation , as a theresianstadt , to try and dispell the bad impression their actions are causing .

    Just a few weeks days ago if you wanted to hear a full Capriles speech you couldnt hear it in any of the main media , youd have to go to Capriles TV to hear it , If you wanted to see the oppos demostrations and marches or some independent opinion expressed openly by an oppo leader youd have to turn to TNT24,. Why ?? because the govt directly or indirectly censored the media so all you could watch were the boring boastful kitzschy speeches of maduro or the boorish rants of Diosdado Cabello .

    If a newspaper editor in El Mundo on a TV journalist in Glbovision stepped over the fine line that divides a subservient media from an objective independent one they were inmmediately fired for fear of govts reprisals , Maduro himself publicly complained of when a private TV allowed an oppo figure to appear in an opinion program sending shivers down the owners spine. !!

    Then the protests came out in force , NTN24 was shut down , CNN journalist in Venezuela were persecuted by regime paramilitary goons and had their credentials withdrawn and were themselves expeled from the country. CNN itself was threatened with expulsion from Venezuelan air waves if it didnt mend its ways and gave the govt more favourable exposure. !! Typical Nazi response.!!

    Seeing that this was causing a terrible impression abroad the govt then decided to relax its control of the media , to allow it a bit of leeway to show some oppo presence in the airways , for a while theyve allowe CNN to do an objective reporting without shutting it up , all to showcase to the world a thereienstadt moment to make it believe that freedeom of information existed in Venezuela , albeit in rationed dosages.

    This fools no one in Venezuela , as soon as the eyes of the world cease to be focused on the Venezuelan protests , the govt will just go back to its old ways and begin again the slow but progressive strangulation of freedom of information and freedom of opinion in the Venezuelan media , forcing everyone to consumme the boorish raw ridiculous offensive speeches of Mauduro , Diosdado and their minions .

    This theresianstadt moment is what has allowed some trolls visiting this blog to parade all the odd instances where some minimal samples of oppo presence in the airwaves has been allowed in our long suffering country. Trying to make us believe that this the norm rather than the temporary exception in Venezuela . Demanding like an overbearing inquisitor general to have proof presented to him that there is no freedom of expression and information in Venezuela !! No one is fooled by this theatre , people living in Venezuela know full well that there is a policy of silencing freedom of information and opinon by the regime which uses all the resources of a despotic govt to implement its despotic restrictions !!


    • …people living in Venezuela know full well that there is a policy of silencing freedom of information and opinon by the regime which uses all the resources of a despotic govt to implement its despotic restrictions !!

      And by now, many more people outside of Venezuela know better what’s happening in the country, thanks to social media, including youtubes which show without a trace of doubt, the repression and in cases, the street brutality of the regime to keep its power base. That band of criminals owes thanks to you, Chris Carlson, long an abetter of this regime while you display your lack of courage, your lack of a true moral compass, on this blog, behind cowardly anonymity.


  13. Oh, btw, Chris Carlson/Anon, here’s a Vz journo who tells of her recent detention by the goon squad of the criminal regime you so love, support, and defend.

    Andrea Jiménez recalls her experience in an interview on the Colombian news network, NTN24. She mentions how the national guard entered her urbanization and rounded up the residents, with no apparent motive. Jiménez did not suffer as much as the males did in her group of citizens. She and another woman she was threatened with dismemberment, (sexual) violation, even death. Said journo knew at the time that she could not reveal her profession, because

    “todos acá sabemos cuál es la rabia que hay en estos momentos hacia mi profesión, entonces decidí callarme y no mencionar, sino pasar como una vecina más… lo que veía en los funcionarios de la guardia nacional, mucho odio, mucho rencor, mucho resentimiento, y yo sentía que en ese momento ellos podían hacer con nosotros lo que quisieran. De hecho pensaba que efectivamente, como nos decían, nos iban a matar, y yo juraba que no ibamos a salir jamás … fueron 42 horas de mi vida … un constante miedo que sentí …”

    Hat tip: Daniel D.


      • Since this australian journo has spent years, years, I tell you, covering events in Vzla for leftist rags, surely she must have photographed at least ONE incident involving opposition members with guns. And with so many collateral cell phone cameras to attest, why is there not one measly photo of the incident that Tammy relates. Or, why isn’t she interviewed, so that she can give with greater credibility a first-person account of what happened, rather than hide behind the constructed quotes in an article, poorly written by an obviously non-native-Spanish speaker? Note, the article never states that Tammy’s camera was destroyed, or taken from her.

        Keep spinning /promoting manipulated news, Goebbels. Your fantasist nature is on display.


    • Maduro should not even boter reqding crap from these people. They are financed by the corporate media.

      Talking about the corporate media I look forward to CNN and CNNEE vamishiong from Venezuela. Telesur is far superior.


      • For all the trouble USA and its media has been causing us according to your leader, don’t you find it odd that he goes on national TV to ask CNN to come back and to tell Obama to pick up the phone to discuss potential ambassadors? So much for fighting the evil empire.


      • Arturo, with all due respect, the government channels are horrible. Their best content is reruns from somewhere else. I’ve seen low-budget local channels that produce better original content in places like Costa Rica, New Zealand, NW Territories in Canada, and the Dominican Republic, let alone the typical horrible uhf channels in the EEUU.

        The content gets trumped by the editorial line resulting in horrible stuff.


  14. Never fear-Jimmy Carter is on the way to save the revolution!!!! The man we would all like to forget!


  15. Media blackout? Twitter is also the media and if you read all the lies and manipulation there that has been posted by “opposition democrats” you can see what f***ing liars many of them are. Ther eis no blackout anywhere and when the opposition has an open field upon which to paly most of the posts are plain lies and fantasy.

    There is plenty of coverage even on Globovision.

    Just another excuse to whine since the opposition jsut cannot win elections as they are are minority.


    • Casi nunca comento, pero francamente, marica, estas loco. Venis aca a defender a Maduro hasta la muerte, como que ni tuvieras trabajo. Carajo, busca algo que hacer.


    • Arturo: I missed your intellectual acumen, your brilliant analysis, when not your Ipad’s typos. Mention of a media blackout means heavy censorship of a non-government-funded, mainstream media. Hope that helps. I look forward to more of your stellar input.


      • This stellar post comes from the infamous Syd – the poster that once declared in a not-so-recent post, “All women are bitches.” And for those of you who do not know, Syd is a woman.


        • (sigh). I didn’t know young El Pipo was in bed with Arturo! As for my previous comment, I don’t expect a junior with a severe rash on his backside to “get it”, to get the context. P.S. I was not calling for frying heads in oil, as one blogger once put it, silence from ElPipo. #Misogyny

          I was going to put Arturo’s name down for a Rhodes scholarship. Evidently “El Pipo” would never qualify.


          • Chama, saliste del manicomio a buscar pleitos otra vez. When you say things like “Women are bitches. (I should know.)” and then claim that you were taken out of context, how can anyone take you seriously?

            BTW, the rash that you speak of must be in your totona with all of the men who have been in there!


            • Thank you, cryptochavista with a rash up your backside. You’ve been revealed. No wonder you don’t add anything of value to this blog. Go cavort with your Arturo and the likes, and stop trolling these boards in pretense.


        • If we’re going to judge people based on their comments, what say you of Maduro’s many, many, many unimaginably stupid remarks? I await your condemnations of the education minister regarding getting people out of poverty. I await your objection to Hugo Chavez’s “capitalism killed life on Mars” quote.


  16. Seriously, i doubt anyone in their right mind outside of Venezuela would consider supporting an overthrow of the democratically elected Venezuelan government. It beggars belief that the opposition in Venezuela think they have a case. Sure, you have my sympathy, and probably the sympathy of lots of people, but that’s not the same thing, not the same thing at all (And stop bleating about a media “blackout” – what the oppposition get away with simply wouldnt be tolerated in most places). I bet the only ones supporting an overthrow have ulterior motives – be careful what you wish for!


    • “I bet the only ones supporting an overthrow have ulterior motives – be careful what you wish for!”

      Ulterior motives besides being fed up with worst inflation in the world, widespread and persistent shortages of basic goods, the worst corruption in south america, the worst crime in south america, media censorship, constant hate propaganda, and a complete perversion of the very idea of ‘free and fair’ elections?

      Yes, they must have ulterior motives.


  17. Its baffling that the oppo protest be characterized as an attempt to topple the illegitimate farcical regime that oppresses us. You dont topple govts through unarmed students street protests , you need the intervention of organized heavily armed forces for that or the connivence of armed forces elements and these, the regime vigorously states are absolutely loyal to the Revolution , so how is the govt to be toppled ?, doesnt make the least bit of sense !! We all know that all the heavy weaponry is held by the the ultra loyal armed forces or by the bloody paramilitary fascist goons that support the govt.

    Also baffling the continous reference to the heinousness of trying to topple a ‘democratically’ elected govt by those who celebrate the annyversary of the bloody attempt to topple the democratically elected govt of CAP . Evidently in their heart of hearts they believe that toppling democratically elected govts is justified when that govt takes measures that render it illegitimate . It seems as they follow an incongruent double standard to judge when a govt is ‘toppable’ or not. That without considering the fradulent corrupt manner in which the elections results where manipulated by self confessed regime partisans inside govt to get itself ‘reelected’.. If anything the CAP election was more democratic than any that we have seen the last two years.

    About the current blackout as justified because during the 2002 failed army coup d etat a frightened private media didnt show the public the ongoing violent protests by regime stalawarts or because 25 years ago the then govt silenced for a few days the show of images of wild street violent riots there is an evident assymmetry or dispropportion in the comparison .

    For one , the govts policy of ruthlessly persecuting and silencing any critical media has been going on for years each year becoming more oppresive , closing down or castigating any media that dared not reflect the govts partisan views. A few days are not the same as years of methodical communicational repression of free speecha and information plus the temporary silencing of some images in a situation of extreme chaotic disturbances didnt result in the closing of not one tv or radio station , things quieted down and they were all allowed to continue with all their normal transmissions. Nowadays the govt policy is to shut down critical media by hook or crook or by intimidating private media not to show anything hat reveal the govts many abuses and blunders or which allow the opposition voices to appear before a citizenry who is constitutionally entitled to listen to them .

    This last violation of Venezuelans constitutional freedom is not the least bit excused when the govt as amatter of temporary expedience to assuage the international response to its abuses and persecutions allows some oppo voices to appear before the media in a very restricted format. while filling the airways with outpouring of blatant govt propaganda.!! .


    • “You dont topple govts through unarmed students street protests”

      Oh really? I guess you don’t remember the last time a government was toppled in Venezuela.


      • Why yes I do , I happen to know exactly how the MPJ govt was toppled , I knew people who were in the midst of it and thus know for certain that the street protests (despite all the lovely romantic myths ) had ultimately limited effect on the final result. Army units did it , for their own reasons. Evidently your familiarity with Venezuelan history is amateurish , infantile and fanciful . How can your ‘remember’ anything if you are foreign born and at the time hadnt even been born yet .!!

        Of course street protest can have serious long term consequence because of the way they affect peoples mind moods and opinions even when short term they appear to have failed , look at how CAP got toppled , not by the Caracazo nor by the failed military uprisings directly but by the small cascading effects that flowed from these events and, which mid term ultimately created conditions that contributed to CAP’s toppling . Ever hear of the 25 year old man who died from the ‘small’ head injury he suffered when he was 22. Happens all the time. !!


        • Your “knowledge” of Venezuelan history is so vast that you can’t remember 2002. You’re brilliant.


          • In 2002 the army temporarily toppled Chavez and then put him back in , In my books unsuccesful coups dont count but even if they did if it hadnt been for Baduels army units restoring Chavez to power , street protests alone wouldnt have done it !! Dont know that my knowledge of history is so vast but its certainly better than yours.!! Of course you are a foreigner so what can you know.!!


  18. OT- Just saw an article with photos that show that Tibisay Lucena was in the Cuban army 30 years ago. If true did a Cuban infiltrate the CNE?
    If true should Lucena be shot for treason?


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