Ensuring the stronghold of socialism in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez has ordered 34 radio stations be shut down for “breaking the law” by not following new regulations. Yeah, right.
Can it be more obvious? American citizens and the government used to be concerned when socialism or communism had a chance of spreading into our hemisphere. No longer.
More than a dozen of 34 radio stations ordered shut by the Venezuelan government went off the air on Saturday, part of President Hugo Chavez’s drive to extend his socialist revolution to the media.
The association of radio broadcasters said 13 stations had stopped transmitting, following an announcement Friday night by government broadcasting watchdog Conatel that 34 radio outlets would be closed because they failed to comply with regulations.
Critics said the crackdown infringed on freedom of speech and that owners were not given the right to a proper defense.
“They’re closing the space for dissidents in Venezuela,” William Echeverria, head of the National Council of Journalists, told RCTV, a private cable TV station, which did not have its broadcasting license renewed in 2007.
Chavez defended the closures, calling them part of the government’s effort to democratize the airwaves.
In an “effort to democratize the airwaves.” Funny, that Hugo.
In related news, Cuban President Raul Castro is having difficulty funding the free-health-care-for-all socialist utopia. Maybe Obama should take note Castro 2 used the phrase “simply unsustainable” when referring to government spending.
Raul Castro announced Saturday that Cuba will cut spending on education and health care, potentially weakening the building blocks of its communist system in a bid to revive a floundering economy.
The former defense minister who took over the presidency last year called state spending “simply unsustainable” and said the cash-strapped government would reorganize rural schools and scrutinize its free health care system in search of ways to save money.
Of course, socialism is not the problem.
“I wasn’t elected president to return capitalism to Cuba,” Castro said, “or to surrender the revolution”—the armed uprising that toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista a half-century ago.
“I was elected to defend, build and perfect socialism, not destroy it,” he said to a standing ovation from lawmakers in Parliament.