• Joe Hartley

    And also the television license of the one network that continues to criticize Chávez. Sad that he’s shown himself to be little more than a typical Latin American populist with a skin no thicker than that of Henry Kissinger. Oh, and the non-renewed channel is a major source of foreign exchange capital outside the oil industry: telenovelas!

  • Joe seems to think that defending yourself against forces which have attempted to overthrow you once, and whose allies have, in the last few years, overthrown or collaborated in the overthrowing of the governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, and now Somalia, and whose stated national policy is the overthrow of the government of Cuba, is impermissible. Fortunately for the progress of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez doesn’t agree.

    Television stations do not have a God-given right to use the public airwaves forever. They’re called “public airwaves” for a reason.

  • Joe Hartley

    Chávez is hardly one to complain about coups, having led one himself. Eli’s argument is “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” We’ve seen this argument before when the Reaganauts backed bin Laden and other Islamicists in Afghanistan.

    And, in any event, why should words of a television station scare him so much that they must be suprressed? Chávez has won a significant victory, and the first thing he wants to do is pursue an enemies’ list? That has a parallel here, too, from the days of Richard Nixon.

    Here’s a thought experiment: how would you feel if the Bush administration refused to renew a license to a television station in the US because they criticized Bush and collaborated with his enemies. I guess there’d be no complaint, since televisions stations do not have a God-given right to use the public airwaves. Or if you have a modestly left-of-center station that’s unpopular, it can have its license revoked because they’re called “public airwaves”? I always thought the freedom of expression was a positive good in the whole even though it occasionally produced some loathesome characters like Sean InHannity and Bill O’Reilly, who eventually self-destruct anyway.

    The economies of Latin America, regardless of who’s in charge, are being pushed back into extractive industries to generate funds for the patronage of the middle and working classes. The corruption of the Venezuelan elites who preceded Chávez were breathtaking even by Latin American standards, but relying on oil and using the proceeds to buy off the populace only works for a while. Sooner or later oil prices will collapse, and Chávez will find himself in the same position as the former elites, having bet everything on increasing oil prices.

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