Venezuela's New Social Responsibility Law - by Stephen Lendman
On December 20, Venezuela's National Assembly (AN) passed a new Law of Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Digital Media. Contrary to harsh criticism, it doesn't impose censorship. It expands on existing legislation to promote responsible programming, including online. More on it below.
Whatever socially responsible laws the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) led government passes, unfair criticism follows.
On December 20, Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in Residence Joel D. Hirst called it an "attack on freedom of speech," saying:
It "place(s) severe restrictions on the Internet, centralizing access under the control of a government server. They require the airwaves as a 'public good' and set in place harsh penalties for arcane and obtuse violations of the law."
False, like more examples below.
On December 24, New York Times writer Simon Romero (a longtime Chavez critic) headlined, "New Laws in Venezuela Aim to Limit Dissent," saying:
"The National Assembly has approved a sweeping set of laws that impose penalties for spreading political dissent on the Internet," quoting opposition legislator Ismael Garcia calling it "a new dictatorial model."