Bullets, Media and the Venezuelan Election Campaign


HAVANA TIMES — I don’t believe in the press. I don’t believe in journalists, or in the best intentions of any editor. The illusion of a “free press” is held only by those who live with the fear of being imprisoned by a system.

If we buy a newspaper we’re giving up 50 percent of our freedom. It was nice what they used to tell us in school, that “we have to stay informed.” Ha ha ha.

I just witnessed a shooting in the parking lot of my building.

That’s why I’m sitting down to write this.

Over the time I’ve spent in Caracas (during my first and second trips), I haven’t found newspaper headlines dedicated to the “heroes.”

The titles are only about the “victims.”

We see plenty of these, and they come with details about how someone “resisted” a robbery and was killed for it.

“Victim Killed for Trying to Resist.”

This means the streets have been taken over, so it’s better not to resist or else you’ll be killed.

I know of people who have fought barehanded with a thug. I know people who have resisted assaults (perhaps less violently), and I know people who have put their lives at risk to defend others.

But they don’t appear in the newspapers.

I don’t believe in the idea that news about blood and death sells more papers.

Up until now, the area where I live has been rather “quiet.” There are lots of dealers of whatever type of drugs one wants; including just outside my door. But somehow there has been some degree of order around here, at least so far.

These days the race for the elections has begun. I say “race” because that’s what it is, with each candidate wanting to be the first to reach the finish line. The opposition candidate Capriles promises to turn Venezuela into a safe place with his “Plan for Security for All” (involving prevention, the police, courts and prisons).

Chavez is saying — now — that his new program “Life for Every Venezuelan” will help decrease the number whereby one Venezuelan dies every 30 minutes.

I don’t know of one newspaper that isn’t serving the interests of one of those two candidates – or even both.

What about journalism in Cuba?

It’s exactly the same.

Who believes in journalism?


One thought on “Bullets, Media and the Venezuelan Election Campaign

  • In a free country no one is forced to agree with whatever the press, the Government, the Church, the head of state or anyone says. You may disagree; make criticisms, complaints, suggestions, public protests, etc. You can still cancel your newspaper subscription, go to buy another newspaper or magazine, sue the newspaper for claiming a falsehood, etc., etc… You can think with your own head and say anything you want without fear of being persecuted, killed or disappear. For anyone who is a free man, makes no sense the fear of being fooled by the press. The diversity and plurality of information and communication sources in the democratic system knows no boundaries, opinions vary infinitely and the pursuit of truth is a right and not a concession from above. Only a totalitarian state can put doubts like these in people’s minds.
    Nelson. Rogério Ferreira

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