Filed under: Americas
RCTV is under fire. The big television station, which has been broadcasting under license in Venezuela for 54 years, sort of the equivalent of FoxNews or CBS, officially loses its right to broadcast at the end of today. But that wasn't all that happened.
Like furies, red tshirted Chavista mobs gathered and bayed liked wolves in the days leading up to this end of an era, graffiting and spray-painting the TV station with words like 'expropriacion' along with filthy slogans that if you know Spanish, you can see the equivalent of 'f word' among, racism charges, campesino movement slogans, anti-Vatican slogans (the Vatican actually defended this TV station, which is run by a devout Catholic) and 'RCTV out' slogans. They also left plenty of garbage and mess, including what looks like a dead dog - a mob symbol if there ever was one, behind.
This is how Venezuela is being ruled right now - not just by arbitrary "legal" rulings based on what Chavez likes, but by the added calling card of the Chavista mob, spray painting its vile messages in its 'revolutionary' fervor to get the point across that this isn't about law or the public interest anymore, this is about bloodthirsty mob rule.
One little fact that will make you sick to hear is that I know exactly who organized the attack. I hung out with him in Caracas because I was curious how the other side thought and I went to his "Bolivarian Circle" meeting and I got literature - it was 100% against the dissident TV stations - and I even got drunk with him in one of the mayor's offices out in the western slums. I know who he is and how he thinks. He had a string of "community" television stations of his own, and he told me the pbig rivate TV stations were "against democracy." His people were after Globovision and its broadcasting equipment at the time but they rapidly moved against RCTV and have been talking about destroying them through violence. He even had state-funded pamphlets, with the little Venezuelan government jumping-people logo on them to give to me and I still have them. His bile against private media finally came to fruition yesterday. And he will be the beneficiary of the spoils.
The injury added to insult against RCTV shows that not only is the law against the existence of the dissident TV station, it's also against enforcing even civic laws against the integrity of the property itself. Think about how you would feel for your personal safety in the wake of these attacks. These thugs would have thrown a bomb or set a fire if they could but the government wants to steal the equipment for its own 'public broadcast' service, which will fall into the hands of this rapcious graffiti mob. This is violence, from top to bottom, with the state making common cause with the criminal elements to make Venezuela a holy hell for anyone who produces anything of value.
God help Venezuela.
UPDATE: Alek Boyd at VCrisis sends me a correction - RCTV is slated for closure on May 31, not March 31 as had been reported earlier. Thanks Alek! Read Alek's item on RCTV, complete with more strings of photos, here.
UPDATE: Venezuela Today has a whole special section on RCTV with all the coverage and all the photos for easy viewing here.