Carter's Chavezuela

Por Venezuela Real - 1 de Junio, 2007, 17:53, Categoría: Imagen gobierno / Chávez

May 31, 2007

Leadership: As unrest over freedom's end grows in Venezuela, out comes Jimmy Carter's Center, expressing "concern." That's rich. Carter played a leading role in trashing the press there, making dictatorship possible.
Jimmy Carter often wins praise as an international mediator, but it was precisely his mediation in two events in August 2004 that led to the turmoil now seen across Venezuela.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets crying "freedom" for two reasons: they're ruled by a dictator who's gathering absolute power, and they can't even complain because he's effectively ended free speech.

On May 27, dictator Hugo Chavez shut down Venezuela's largest TV station, RCTV, which had been openly critical of his regime, sending a strong message to other critics that the same fate awaits.
Like many around the world, Carter has jumped on the bandwagon to claim concern. "Healthy democracies require spaces for political dialogue and debate," the Carter Center pontificated.
But Carter himself had a direct hand in the rise of the dictatorship and in weakening the free press.

In 2004, Carter was an official observer to a rigged recall referendum. He swiftly declared it free and fair. Venezuelans cried fraud and chased Carter around Caracas, beating pots and pans. Despite this, outside Venezuela, Carter's report was taken by the media as credible, and Chavez's regime used it to bolster its legitimacy.

The truth was far sorrier. Carter allowed Chavista officials to select ballot boxes for the observers to inspect and to keep them out of the counting room where fraud is most likely. Carter ignored evidence of electronic rigging and dismissed red flags of irregularities raised by a number of economists.

That wasn't the only problem he created.

In 2004,Venezuela had four robust TV stations, all of which were under fire for their criticism of the regime. Chavez declared them "four horsemen of the apocalypse," and vowed to destroy them.

Just a few days ahead of the August recall referendum, Carter mediated a meeting between one station owner, Venevision's Gustavo Cisneros, and Chavez. The result: Venevision ended its critical coverage of Chavez in exchange for its continued existence. As a result, another station, Televen, caved in, and RCTV stood alone with tiny Globovision, as Chavez critics.

For Chavez, it was a bonanza. Because of the media deal Carter mediated, not only did he get a supine press, but it became easier to shut down the lone holdouts who refused to halt criticism.
Thanks to Carter, Venezuela is now fighting to preserve what remains of its freedoms. Carter's strategy of appeasing predators and urging compromise on critical matters of principle leaves Venezuela a poorer, more oppressive place. Carter has much to answer for.

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