So what's new?
Speaking to a clique of friendly reporters in Madrid, Moncada insisted that campaign against Venezuela had "launched 13 attacks and lies during the tour of Russia, Belarus, Portugal and Spain." He added "these lies only served to hurt the true purpose of the European tour."
What WAS important, he asserts is that President Chavez and Spain's Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had reached agreements with one of the most important countries in Europe, namely Spain, especially in the field of energy. The previous day, he had had to ask the Minister of Communications & Information (MinCI) back home in Caracas to issue an official press release "to dispel a wave of false press reports on allegations of Venezuela's acquisition of about US$30 billion in Russian weapons ... THAT speculation was massively propagated by the international press, and shortly after, we had another fictional story circulated in cyberspace on a supposed offer to install Russian military bases in Venezuela!"
Personally I can't help thinking that Foreign Minister Maduro is a trifle naive if he thinks the foreign media can be forced to report only the events he chooses to authorize as fit for worldwide consumption. While President Hugo Chavez Frias rightly points out that Venezuela enjoys the widest possible freedom of expression, it must be recognized that the Chavez government's greatest failing is in the field of information ... and I'm NOT prepared to believe that Minister of Communications & Information (MinCI) Andres Izarra is wholly to blame!
It was, after all, Izarra who promptly resigned his job as a TV news director at Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) when the owner, Marcel Granier, ordered him to broadcast only trivial cartoons when the sky was falling in on Dictator-for-a-Day Pedro Carmona's efforts to dissolve Venezuela's Constitution, Congress and Judiciary in April 2002 to impose what was initially meant to be a 15-year USA-backed dictatorship.
The problem lies deeper! And its part of the revolutionary government's sometimes paranoid belief that just because they;re paranoid it doesn't mean they haven't got enemies lurking in every bush. With regard to one particular Bush, they most definitely have an abject enemy, but the paranoia is taken to ridiculous extremes often with false-flagged Chavistas profiting on the paranoia to ensconce themselves even deeper into the pig trough that the Chavez administration is growing daily to become.
Izarra has already experienced the incompetences of quite a few of his senior staff both at MinCI and at the pan-South America TV network TeleSur where he achieved great things as its president. But back home in Caracas, his efforts are so often thwarted by false friends and headless chickens to an extent that quite frankly he should receive a medal of honor for walking the knife's edge.
When the international media quite naturally latched onto an Interfax despatch from Moscow alluding to a supposed deal between Russian and Venezuela on the deployment of long-range bombers, nuclear subs and inter-continental ballistic missiles to Venezuela bases, it was unfortunately too late form Andres Izarra to insist that they (Interfax and the world's Chavez-hating media) had got it all wrong! In fact the denials had all the hallmarks of yet another attempt by the Venezuelan government to damage-limit a series of off-the-cuff statements by Chavez that often throw Fox News et.al. into wet dreams of euphoria. "Yeah, of course, what else would the Vennies say when they're rumbled," one can hear a chorus of sub-editors across several continents say as they moved on to the next soundbite of delicious breaking news!
In Spain, Venezuelan Ambassador Alfredo Toro Hardy had the presence to at least anticipate any negative comments by publishing an article in a local Madrid newspaper pointing out that many colors of negative dyes have been used by the Spanish media to disparage President Chavez (who doesn't do a bad job of doing it himself in many a media faux-pas). As perhaps Venezuela most important asset in the field of diplomacy, Toro Hardy was able, in advance, to tidily demolish each controversial tidbit that sought to disqualify his President to the extent that Chavez, with Toro Hardy's professional adroitness, was able to re-establish friendly relations with Spain and its monarch, King Juan Carlos who had very publicly called on Chavez to "shut your mouth!" during a summit in Chile quite some time back.
Quite frankly, Toro Hardy's prowess--in spite of a weekend personal attack in the political magazine Ls Verdades de Miguel--shows that it is indeed possible for Venezuela to regain control over how it is viewed around the world. Regrettably, though, the same professionalism is now shown by a series of ambassadors in Washington and London as well as other key "confidence building" embassies in Europe, but it all boils down to the current and very much regrettable centralized policy of EXclusion ... sectarianism by truer definition ... that frightened (or thoroughly stupid) portfolio holders in the Venezuela administration seem to believe will save them from sinecure-destructive gaffes with which they irrevocably always litter their ministerial tenures.
They sadly think that by imposing gag-orders on subservient staff, they will stop their incompetency and total disconnect with reality from reaching embarrassing public knowledge, but succeed rather in breeding serious discontent further down the food chain to the extent that it is often the anti-government media that goes whoopee over administrational misdeeds while the complacent pro-government media turns a blind eye or simply goes tut-tut!
The Venezuelan government needs to learn that it needs to forget about the PRAVDA-esque policy of reluctantly issuing politically-laded press releases to be cited verbatim in the local rags, but rather to provide a true "information service" to all and sundry who want to know more about all the exciting foreign and domestic policies implicit in the true nature of the Bolivarian Revolution, to accept questioning and investigative journalism as a natural form of participating in Venezuela's true democracy and ... as Ambassador Alfredo Toro Hardy showed last week in Madrid ... to preempt misunderstandings by helping journalists and the media (pro-Venezuela or nay!) to better understand what is going on in Venezuela and the part it undoubtedly plays in world affairs.
Roy S. Carson
Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.HELP US TO KEEP BRINGING YOU THE TRUTH