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Andres Izarra's true intent to STARVE(?) the opposition media into submission to his edict?

By       Message Roy S. Carson     Permalink
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VHeadline editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: I will certainly admit that I had PREVIOUSLY had a lot of respect for Andres Izarra. I very vocally defended him in London when a typically disinformed member of his conference audience virulently attacked him in claims that he (Andres) had the blood of many dead on his hands as a direct result of the US-funded coup d'etat against President Hugo Chavez Frias!

It was a ridiculous assertion and, basically, illustrated the depths to which the anti-Chavez propaganda machine has been prepared to stoop in attempts to unilaterally force through their polarized view of what had happened during the Laguno Bridge massacre on April 11, 2002.

Suffice to say, Izarra wasn't even at the scene of the tragic event... He was, in fact, caught in a decisive quandary of his own at Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) HQ elsewhere in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, about to make up his mind to resign rather than to accept RCTV boss, Marcel Granier's edict to pull live coverage of what was happening on the streets of Caracas and, instead, to broadcast Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoons.

I applauded Izarra's courageous career decision, then, to walk out of his job as a news director at RCTV. He had had the cojones to tell Granier to stuff the well-paid job rather than allow himself to become part of a censorship machinery that was a prelude to what 'Dictator for a Day' Pedro Carmona Estanga envisaged for a post-Chavez dictatorship.

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I recognized in Andres Izarra, a professionalism that belies the fact that he has NEVER achieved any academic journalistic qualifications in a country where the law demands that -- even if you are plucked from the latest clutch of Miss Venezuela to front a TV news-slot -- you have to have a suitable Venezuelan university degree in media studies under your belt as well as membership of the Venezuelan CNP (Reporters Union). The latter, of course, is in violation of international norms on freedom of the press, but that's another issue all of its own!

Andres went on to better (?) things at the press department of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC before returning  as spinmeister-in-chief to Chavez' campaign to confront opposition efforts to have his presidency cut short in a 2004 national referendum -- which Chavez won!

Shortly thereafter, he was on the move again ... this time to take up responsibilities as Venezuela's Minister of Communications & Information (Minci), regrettably upgrading false-flagged Yuri (I've been a revolutionary for 25 years) Pimentel as his deputy on secondment from the Libertador Municipality's office for brochure production. Pimentel (decribed astutely in Verdades de Miguel recently as Izarra's "bag-man") helped form what was to become a Tom & Jerry team, variously focused on the deputy minister's inabilities and incompetencies at MinCI HQ while Andres occupied more salubrious quarters at the Miraflores Palace in close proximity to his father, William Izarra's student of political sciences, President Hugo Chavez Frias.

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Whether by fatherly intervention or plain happenstance, Andres accelerated through the Venezuelan administration's power hierarchy and saw the fulfillment of his personal ambitions of media empire building as president of the pan-Latino version of CNN, TeleSur through its infancy ... but regrettably with 'bag-man' Pimentel in tow.

Whatever happened with TeleSur is obscured in political fogginess, but Tom & Jerry (Andres y Yuri) were soon back at MinCi as it became more sectarian, more polarized and more simply as a megaphone exclusively to enforce for the President's unilateral ideas of how the left and lefter-of-left party structures in Venezuelan politics should be forced to submit to fiefdom under the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV)--launched in January this year in a frightening emulation of the 1919 institution of the NSDAP or more recently Zimbabwe's original efforts after 1980 independence to form a one-party state.

Whatever....

Andres Izarra's further career as Minister of Communications & Information has, of course, been blighted by sillier controversies occasioned by hapless Pimentel who, in charge of the cookie jar at Venezolana de Television (VTV) actually decided to try to charge opposition television channels for the "privilege" of using newsworthy snippets from VTV's eternal broadcastings of President Hugo Chavez' effusive speechifyings (from which opposition media are ignominiously excluded). Pimentel's goose was saved from imminent roasting by Izarra's threat to turn in his badge to the President, all of which was conveniently forgotten about in a matter of a a week or ten days while the Tom & Jerry charade continues to this very day.

    * But, here and now, I will unequivocally state that all my previous thoughts in favor of Andres Izarra are totally misconceived ... for the man has turned into a veritable media monster, well on the way to copycatting Cisneros, Rupert Murdoch and more deviously Abramovich Berezovsky.

It has taken time ... but now Izarra has exposed his true nature in an arrogant assertion broadcast in the last few days on 'bag-man' Pimentel's Venezolana de Television (VTV) where -- at the height of the November 23 election run-up -- he had the gall, the audacity, to attempt to criminalize all and any media that does NOT surrender itself to the Chavez government's unilateral hype.

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Adopting what he presumably considers to be the political-ethical high ground, Izarra said that HE (the government) "will NOT invest advertising funds" in media that HE considers to be allied to other than the pro-Chavez camp.

Loosely translated this means: "either submit yourselves to MY (Izarra's) concept of what should be published in your newspapers ... or Go to Hell!"

The sentiment hearkens back to tales of old Wild West (of North America) publishers setting up their presses in new settlements on the covered wagon trails, where the concept of a free and vibrant press was still a lesson to be learned through a succession of assassinations of editors, arson attacks on newspaper offices and printing presses and all sorts of violent pre-Mafia excesses brought to bear on original Constitutional rights to individual freedom...

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Roy S. Carson is veteran foreign correspondent (45+ years in the business) currently editor & publisher of VHeadline Venezuela reporting on news & views from and about Venezuela in South America -- available for interviews -- call Houston (more...)
 

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