Media censorship in Venezuela – In radio and television the name “Juan Guaidó” is taboo
There is no freedom of expression in Venezuela. The repression against the media is becoming more and more intense. The people in Venezuela can hardly form a free opinion. All information channels are in one form or another under the thumb of the Maduro regime.
Censorship and state arbitrariness have led to news broadcasters such as the Spanish-speaking service of CNN in Venezuela no longer being allowed to broadcast since 2017, says media scientist Carlos Correa in Caracas: “Now, in these turbulent days, the power apparatus is intervening even more sharply. The state supervisory authority makes so-called recommendations to private radio and television stations.
Big demos planned again
In the power struggle between the Venezuelan head of state Nicolás Maduro and the self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó, the opposition wants to increase pressure on the streets. Today, Saturday, the government opponents called for mass protests throughout Venezuela and abroad. The opposition wants to urge Maduro to hand over power to a transitional government and call free and fair elections.
This has led to 20 journalistic programmes being discontinued within two weeks. The repression is also affecting the foreign press; eleven international journalists have been arrested in recent days.
Censorship at the highest level
The social scientist Roberto Briceno from the Central University of Venezuela also observes the media scene. “In the radio stations a certain word is taboo on the instructions of the regime: Juan Guaidó. One must not mention this name. The same goes for the term ‘illegal president’ as far as Maduro is concerned. No radio station or television station has ever interviewed Guaidó, who has proclaimed himself interim president.”
The mass media in Venezuela have for many years been unable to accurately portray what has happened. Much of the independent information has therefore shifted to the Internet.
But the Maduro regime is also acting mercilessly on this field, says Briceno. “There is a grotesque arbitrariness. Internet sites that the power apparatus does not approve of cannot be opened from Venezuela at all. The state telecommunications monopolist simply blocks them. The daily ‘El Nacional’ has had its paper imports cut off.”
Now the newspaper only exists as a news portal on the internet, but citizens can’t even call it up. “The Wikipedia website has also been offline for two weeks now because it tells us that there is now an interim president in Venezuela.
People want democracy
Despite all barriers and obstacles, despite all repression by police and death squads, people in Venezuela no longer allow themselves to be intimidated and take to the streets in large numbers. They support Juan Guaidó and demand a return to democracy and the rule of law.
Briceno does not believe in a quick decision and dares to look ahead: “It is conceivable that there will be widespread violence and bloodshed in the foreseeable future, regardless of whether Maduro remains or goes. He is determined to sit out the case and stay in power with the help of the Russians and the Chinese. This strategy has worked in Syria, Nicaragua and Cuba. The regime believes it can be played through in Venezuela as well.”
Power lies with the generals
The power poker is in full swing, the exit is open. Venezuela’s generals are playing the scales. They may sacrifice Maduro if the United States guarantees that they will not launch a military invasion.
Venezuela is a state in South America and is located on the Caribbean coast. The goal of Venezuelan foreign policy for a long time was to realize a united and socialist Latin America within the framework of the Alternativa Bolivariana para las Américas (Spanish: Bolivarian Alternative for all Americas – ALBA). Venezuela saw itself as a leader in Latin America.
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. But the drop in oil prices coupled with corruption and mismanagement have ruined the country. Venezuela is currently in a serious political and economic crisis with hyperinflation and massive unrest among the population.
Although Venezuela lies in the middle of the tropical climate zone, depending on the altitude, the topography and the direction and intensity of the prevailing winds, all climate types from tropical humid to alpine climate can be found. Seasonal variations differ less in temperature than in rainfall. Most of the country has a rainy season from May to October.
The country is divided into four temperature zones, most of which can be traced back to the respective altitude: In the tropical zone (below 800 m) the annual average temperature is between 26 °C and 28 °C. The average temperature in the tropical zone is between 26 °C and 28 °C. The temperate zone with average temperatures of 12 °C to 25 °C extends between 800 and 2000 m above sea level. This is where most of Venezuela’s cities are located, including the capital Caracas. Colder conditions with temperatures from 9 °C to 11 °C can be found in the cool zone between 2000 and 3000 m. Pasture land and permanent snow fields characterize the landscape in the high mountains (from 3,000 m above sea level). The annual average temperature here is below 8 °C.
The annual precipitation ranges from 430 mm in the semi-arid lowlands and plains in the western part of the Caribbean coast to about 1000 mm in the Orinoco triangle. In the mountainous regions, rainfall varies considerably, as less rain falls in the valleys than on the steep walls exposed to northeasterly winds. In Caracas, from June to August, half of the annual rainfall falls at 750 mm.
The country’s average maximum temperature is between 30 and 31 degrees Celsius. However, the temperature in some places can deviate from this average value, so it is not uncommon for maximum temperatures to reach around 40 °C. The average minimum temperature varies between 7 °C and 12 °C, depending on the month, and hardly falls below 10 °C from April to November. From July to January it sometimes rains for almost half a month, in the other months there are only one to seven rainy days per month.