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S. F. Film Screening and D. C. National Symposium to Counter "Distortions" on Venezuela

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SAN FRANCISCO - Mainstream media outlets have run many stories recently criticizing freedom of the press in Venezuela, but have ignored the story of the explosion of community radio and T.V.

Greg Miller and Sean Kriletich explore the burgeoning community media movement spreading across Venezuela in their film, "La Revolucion Comunicativa: community radio and t.v. on the rise in Venezuela."

"The development of community media is an important step in democratizing media in Venezuela," said filmmaker Greg Miller. "Even today, the majority of media people can hear and see are owned by a handful of people. In general, the privately owned medial is anti-President Chavez, so the idea that there is media censorship in Venezuela is absurd."

"The level of openness and participation in the community media in an inspiration. From what I witnessed, the democratization of the media in Venezuela flies in the face of practically everything I read about Venezuela in U. S. corporate media," concluded Miller.

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The San Francisco premiere, will be on Sunday, April 13th at 7:00 p.m., at the Brava Theatre, and filmmakers Miller and Kriletich will be present to make comments and will lead a discussion. Snacks and refreshments will be served.

The event is timed to commemorate the sixth anniversary of April 11, 2002, when Venezuealans defeated a military coup and restored their constitution and President Hugo Chavez. Scenes from from the documentary "Venezuela Bolivariana" about the coup will also be screened.

It's a benefit for the Emergency Response Network, which is supported by the Venezuela Solidarity Network www.vensolidarity.net and Hands Off Venezuela! www.ushov.org Commemorative and educational events are being organized across the United States this week.

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A national symposium, "What's up with Venezuela? Participatory Democracy or Democracy as Usual?" www.vensymosium.wordpress.com will be held in Washington, D.C. April 18-20th. "The symposium is intended to respond to confusion about what is happening in Venezuela that's a result of lies and distortions in thecorporate press," said Chuck Kaufman, Interim Coordinator of the Venezuela Solidarity Network. "We're bringing up leaders form civil society, indigenous people, Afro-Venezuelans, women, and academics. This will be the most authoritative symposium on the Bolivarian process and U. S.-Venezuelan relations ever held in the U. S.," said Kaufman.

Among the featured speakers at the national symposium will be Greg Wilpert (Venezuela Analysis), Jorge Guerrero (Network of Afro-Venezuelans), Mark Weisbrot (Center for Economic Policy Review), Fernando Vegas Torrealba (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia), Steve Elner (Professor of Economic History at Venezuela's Universidad del Oriente), and Venezuela's Ambassador to the US, Bernardo Alvarez.

The symposium will be held at April 18-21, 2008, at Howard University, Washington, D.C. It's Sponsored by the Venezuela Solidarity Network and the Howard University Cimarrones Student Organization, and co-sponsored by the International Socialist Organization, Hands Off Venezuela, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and the Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas.

A suggested donation of $5 is requested for the April 13th screening at the Brava Theater ($3 for students and seniors) and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.


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Jonathan Nack has been a journalist and activist since 1984. He resides in Oakland, California.

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