Chavez: electronic war with US

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

Telesur, the 24-hour television network created by Mr Chavez to counter what he has called the “hegemony” of international networks like CNN, has hit the airwaves for the first time.

The network started broadcasting at 12:00 midday local time, with a Cuban correspondent in Havana after kicking off from Caracas.

The network pointedly made its first broadcasts on the annual commemoration of the birth of South American nationalist hero Simon Bolivar, whom Chavez holds up as the model for his own “revolutionary government”.

Venezuelan Minister of Information Andres Izarra said Telesur, or
Television of the South, seeks “a new international communications order” amid the “global onslaught of privatisation and neoliberalism that threatens to destroy our cultures and civilizations”

“Telesur breaks into a space almost totally dominated by the oligarchies of our countries and their friends in the north, these groups have acted without answer for over 50 years, developing a brand of ideological colonialism or cultural imperialism,” Mr Izarra said.

The network is already immersed in a war of words with Washington where a member of the US House of Representatives accused Mr Chavez of launching “his own television network patterned on Al-Jazeera to spread his anti-American, anti-freedom rhetoric”.

Connie Mack, a Republican representative from Florida, has submitted a bill last week which authorises the US to broadcast radio and television programs to Venezuela which would counter Telesur’s alleged anti-Americanism.

These broadcasts “will provide a consistently accurate, objective, and comprehensive source of news to Venezuela”, Ms Mack said.

Mr Chavez reacted sharply, saying he was ready to enter an “electronic war” and jam the transmissions from the US in the same way Cuban President Fidel Castro did when the US set up Cuba-directed Radio Marti in 1985.

Based in Caracas with 160 employees, Telesur will have correspondents in nine countries, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and the United States, and will carry images from state and academic-related television stations across the region.

The company is capitalised with A$13.09 million and is 51 per cent controlled by Venezuela, 20 per cent Argentina, 19 per cent Cuba and 10 per cent Uruguay.

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