Archive for the ‘press’ Category


Politics in France

Maxi boots and mini controversies

The strangely close relationship of French politicians and journalists

 
Valérie keeps on working

IN THE 1960s a French magazine editor, Françoise Giroud, recruited a crop of female political reporters to L’Express in hopes that they would charm their way to scoops. Catherine Nay, still a working journalist, recalls that she “turned up at the National Assembly in a mini skirt and white maxi boots”. She ended up falling for a deputy, who later became a minister—but, she says, nobody worried then about a conflict of interest.

Times have changed, but ties between politics and media have not. Three Socialist ministers live with journalists. Valérie de Senneville, wife of Michel Sapin, the labour minister, works for Les Echos. Arnaud Montebourg, minister of “productive recovery”, is the partner of Audrey Pulvar, a broadcast journalist, whose employer has said she can no longer conduct political interviews. Vincent Peillon, education minister, is married to Nathalie Bensahel of Le Nouvel Observateur, which is running a cover: “Les Liaisons Dangereuses: women journalists and male politicians”.

Most arresting, President François Hollande, ex-partner of Ségolène Royal, a former Socialist presidential candidate, is now companion to Valérie Trierweiler, a journalist at Paris-Match and presenter of a cable-TV show. This week, the magazine decided to keep her as a journalist, while Mr Hollande runs the country—though she will not cover politics. Similar rules have been applied to others.

The French are not alone in mixing affairs of state and heart. Gerhard Schröder, a former German chancellor, met his fourth wife, Doris, when she was a journalist. Michael Gove, Britain’s education minister, is married to a journalist. But France seems more prone than others. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, disgraced former IMF boss, is married to Anne Sinclair, a former TV presenter who is editor of the French Huffington Post. Christine Ockrent, partner of Bernard Kouchner, a former foreign minister, was a TV news anchor. Nor is it just on the left. Alain Juppé, former foreign minister, and Jean-Louis Borloo, another ex-minister, are married to journalists.

In a country that sets official store by equality, nobody suggests ministerial spouses should stop work. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy released an album while her husband, Nicolas Sarkozy, was president. Indeed, some newly downgraded journalists are indignant, arguing that they are capable of separating professional and personal matters. On Twitter, Ms Pulvar mocked her demotion, referring to “when I had a brain”.

Since the public interest stops at the bedroom door, much in France is unspoken, as Jean Quatremer says in his book “Sex, Lies and the Media”. For years, the media kept quiet the existence of François Mitterrand’s out-of-wedlock daughter, as well as the predatory behaviour of Mr Strauss-Kahn. This is changing; one poll finds that 54% think political journalists living with a politician should not stay in their job. As a comfort for Ms Trierweiler, this view was shared by only 34% of those who voted for Mr Hollande.

Read the article online here: Politics in France: Maxi boots and mini controversies | The Economist

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This article, published in France’s Le Monde, analyzes the use of the police’s investigations and information, by successive French Presidents….

De tout temps, la police a été l’instrument du pouvoir. Avant d’accéder à la présidence de la République, François MitterrandJacques Chirac et Nicolas Sarkozy sont tous passés par la Place Beauvau    
[Throughout history, the police has been the instrument of those in power. Before becoming president of the Republic, François Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy have all passed through Place Beauvau]

It’s in French, so use the Google translator tool to help you read it in the language of your choice.
Sexe, politique et police des mœurs – LeMonde.fr
Avertie en continu, la Préfecture de police de Paris centralise les informations sensibles.
Avertie en continu, la Préfecture de police de Paris centralise les informations sensibles.AFP/ERIC FEFERBERG
L’Elysée, bien plus que les médias, n’ignorait rien de la vie privée de Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Le pouvoir, alimenté par ses relais dans la police, sait tout des secrets les plus intimes des hommes politiques, jusqu’à user des informations graveleuses dont il dispose.
Ainsi, des proches de Nicolas Sarkozy avaient pris soin de laisser “fuiter” auprès du Monde, ces derniers mois, l’existence d’une note, rédigée peu avant la présidentielle de 2007, par un policier de la base. Quelques lignes signalant la présence de M. Strauss-Kahn, surpris en fâcheuse posture dans une voiture, à l’ouest de Paris, dans un haut lieu des rencontres tarifées, à l’occasion d’un banal contrôle.
Sollicités, ni la Préfecture de police de Paris ni le ministère de l’intérieur n’ont souhaité confirmer – ou démentir – l’existence de cette note. Trois sources différentes ont pourtant assuré au Monde que ce rapport avait existé, et qu’il avait été porté à la connaissance de l’entourage de M.Sarkozy.
Selon l’une de ces sources, l’original de cette note a été passé au broyeur. A l’époque des faits, il fut décidé, en haut lieu, de ne pas donner de suites à cette affaire sur le plan pénal – ou médiatique. Candidat malheureux à la primaire du PS fin 2006, DSK ne présentait pas alors le même enjeu pour le pouvoir. Et c’est en parfaite connaissance de cause que M. Sarkozy, une fois élu, le propulsa à la tête du Fonds monétaire international (FMI).
Mais ces derniers mois, au fur et à mesure de la progression de DSK dans les sondages, des hommes de confiance de M.Sarkozy se sont vantés devant des journalistes de “tenir” le patron du FMI, dont ils menaçaient de révéler les frasques. C’est ainsi que cette note a refait providentiellement surface. Au même moment, le chef de l’Etat se posait en “moine trappiste”, par opposition à la réputation de coureur de jupons de DSK.
ÉQUIPE LA MIEUX RENSEIGNÉE DE FRANCE
C’est un fait : M.Sarkozy, depuis 2002, connaît certains aspects de la vie privée des personnalités susceptibles de présenter un jour un danger électoral. A son arrivée au ministère de l’intérieur, il a constitué une équipe de fidèles qui lui doivent tout. De Bernard Squarcini, patron de la Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI), à Claude Guéant, ministre de l’intérieur, en passant parAlain Gardère, directeur adjoint du cabinet de ce dernier, ou Michel Gaudin, préfet de police de Paris, cette équipe est la mieux renseignée de France.
Fin avril, DSK avait d’ailleurs identifié le danger, comme l’a rapporté Libération : son appétence pour les femmes, certes, mais surtout les méthodes supposées de M. Guéant, à l’origine selon lui de la propagation des rumeurs sur sa vie intime.
De tout temps, la police a été l’instrument du pouvoir. Avant d’accéder à la présidence de la République, François MitterrandJacques Chirac et Nicolas Sarkozy sont tous passés par la Place Beauvau. Lors de son retour à l’intérieur, en juin 2005, M.Sarkozy avait confié :“Je serai mieux protégé.”
De fait, il en profita pour retourner l’affaire Clearstream en sa faveur, et surtout placer ses hommes aux postes clés. L’une de ses premières mesures fut de renvoyer Gérard Dubois, un conseiller du préfet de police – chiraquien – Philippe Massoni, accusé de s’être répandu sur la liaison de son épouse de l’époque, Cécilia, avec Richard Attias.
Il est vrai que les policiers, qu’ils appartiennent aux renseignements généraux (RG, désormais fondus dans la DCRI), à la sécurité publique, voire à la brigade de répression du proxénétisme, reçoivent des renseignements ultrasensibles. Ainsi, les patrons de boîtes échangistes ont pour coutume de signaler à la police – avec qui ils soignent leurs relations – la présence de personnalités politiques dans leurs soirées.
Etablissement connu du centre de Paris où le libertinage se célèbre au quotidien, Les Chandelles ont ainsi inspiré plus d’un “blanc”(note sans en-tête ni signature) aux RG. Les services sont aussi capables d’aller creuser des détails incongrus : durant la campagne présidentielle de 2007, les RG planchèrent ainsi sur le coût de la garde-robe de Ségolène Royal
MÉCANIQUE EXTRÊMEMENT EFFICACE
Les renseignements les plus “utiles” remontent naturellement à l’Elysée. C’était déjà le cas sous d’autres présidences. Dans les années 1990, les RG enquêtèrent ainsi sur la vie privée deBertrand Delanoë ou de Jack Lang. Des notes blanches furent même établies. Rien n’était étayé, mais plus d’un journaliste fut bénéficiaire de drôles de “tuyaux”
Etiqueté chiraquien, Yves Bertrand, patron des RG de 1992 à 2004, joua un rôle central dans ce dispositif. Mis en cause pour s’être intéressé à la vie intime des politiques, il assume ses enquêtes très “privées”, se voyant même“réhabilité” par l’affaire DSK, qu’il qualifie de“victoire posthume” ! “Je ne sais rien de l’affaire du Sofitel, mais de manière générale, cela prouve qu’il est légitime de s’intéresser à la vie privée des hommes politiques. D’ailleurs, on me commandait parfois des enquêtes pour savoir si une personne pressentie au gouvernement avait des fragilités”, dit-il.
L’un de ses principaux interlocuteurs était Claude Guéant. “Lorsqu’il était directeur de la police (1994-1998) puis du cabinet du ministre(2002-2004), je lui rendais compte de tout. Il notait ce que je lui rapportais, y compris les éléments privés, dans des petits cahiers”, affirme-t-il.
M. Guéant avait pourtant assuré en 2008 à Mediapart : “Concernant des éléments de vie privée relatifs à des personnalités, il n’en a jamais été question dans nos discussions.”Arme de déstabilisation – ou de dissuasion – contre un adversaire menaçant, la “police des mœurs” sert, parfois, à défendre le président.
La DCRI a ainsi mobilisé ses forces en 2010 pour savoir d’où provenaient les ragots sur le couple présidentiel. Suspectée, Rachida Dati fut mise sous surveillance. Même les plus fidèles des sarkozystes ne sont pas à l’abri de cette mécanique extrêmement efficace.

Gérard Davet et Fabrice LhommeArticle paru dans l’édition du 25.05.11



The “in your face” gruesome picture seen around the world

August 19, 2010

(Reality is unpublishable)

When El Nacional published the very gruesome picture of the Caracas morgue in response to the cynical and hysterical laughs of Andres Izarra, President of Chavez’ pet international propaganda TV station Telesur, reactions were mixed. The comments section of this blog flared up with disparate positions. Curiously, my concern when I thought about whether to publish it or not in my blog, was that some may find it offensive. But this seemed to be the minority position. A larger fraction seemed more concerned with the publication of the picture backfiring against those that oppose Hugo Chavez (I am trying to differentiate them from the “opposition”)
But El Nacional’s picture, through the missteps of the Government, some cooperation from other media, and yes, some luck, has become the “in your face” picture seen around the world, that has revealed the lack of respect of Chavez and his cohorts for the right to life and freedom of the press. In fact, even VTV reporters have already spoken against the very clear act of censorship by the Judge who banned printed media from publishing violent pictures.
Things got complicated right off the bat, when, while you could still hear Izarra’s hyenic hysterics, a woman from Hong Kong’s team got shot by a stray bullet in the World Women’s Baseball tournament being played of all places at a Caracas military fort. As even the Vice-President tried to explain away this event as unusual, most Venezuelans who live in the barrios likely stared at their TV screens wondering where does Mr. Jaua live, as both specific purpose and stray bullets are part of the daily life of poor Venezuelans, where the strength of Chavismo happens to live.
On that same day, a bus filled with 69 campers was hijacked and all of their possessions stolen, as the 20 adults accompanying and protecting them also were forced to hand out their valuables.
The Government was caught off guard by theeffects of the “in your face” picture. As the picture went around the world, newspapers reported on the injunction on El Nacional not to publish similar pictures. The whole thing may have died there, but then Tal Cual also published the picture in its front page, accompanying its Editorial. The Government then also issued an injunction against Tal Cual, using the sensitivity of children as an excuse, but it began stumbling when a Judge then prohibited all printed media from printing violent, bloody or gruesome pictures.
It is unclear who or why the Judge ordered this, but his decision is so transparently political and cynical, that his order of censorship is only temporary, it expires in four weeks, as if the sensitivity of kids will harden a week before the upcoming National Assembly elections, just when campaigning ends.
And the significant impact of the “in your face” picture was such, that it forced Hugo Chavez to speak on the problem of crime and homicides for the first time, a subject he has consistently avoided and has always failed to address.
And the improvised response has been absolutely terrible and uninspired, for a Government well known for selling any explanation for its missteps, no matter how absurd they may be.
Because once again those living in the barrios will not buy the excuse that the criminals were raised during the IVth. Republic and that it is capitalistic desires that drive crime. Because each and everyone of the inhabitants of the barrios has been in contact with the crime, the deaths and the abuses, in the absence of a Government that has now been in power for eleven years. And it is precisely their desires to lead a better life that have been hampered by crime. Thus, blaming the messenger or calling the picture mediatic pornography, is very unlikely to sell well in the areas Catia or Caricuao, or in the mountains of Mérida.
140,000 people have been murdered in Venezuela since Chavez took power in 1999. Where have you been all these years Hugo? Its clear the Dictator no longer has the magic touch or is in touch with the people.
And meanwhile the cries of “Censorship” have also been heard around the world, as Oliver Stone and Sean Penn are probably wondering why the hell they had to make a defense of free speech being present in Venezuela. Being a Hollywood star makes no one an expert on democracy in far off lands.
And even the Investigative police and the Prosecutor act harshly, showing up at El Nacional at peak time, just as the newspaper is being composed, pretending to have 100 reporters and photographers leave the newspaper, so they can retrieve the memory card with the infamous picture to determine when it was taken. In the face of that crowd, already predisposed against them, and not ready to even consider obeying the order, the cops and the prosecutors decided not to create another show and simply left. Sans card!
Thus, thanks to Izarrita’s sordid and fake laugh and the picture, the Government, for once, has not been setting the agenda for the last few days, attempting to contain the effects of the picture. This distraction follows that of Pudreval, which has been forgotten only because of the “picture”, except that crime is more important an issue than food, more so among the poor.
And when Chavez says that in 20 years there will be no crime, it brings people back to the old promise of no kids in the streets in five years, a promise made 12 long years ago, as well as the promise of eliminating corruption, as the inhabitants of the barrios see their Chavista leadership move around with expensive cars and body guards, making them immune to the crime problem.
Which goes back to a post I wrote recently. I noted that Diego Arria and Alvarez Paz, had been more effective at challenging and making the Government react than the opposition, by confronting the Government with new issues or responding directly to the absurd arguments of the Chavistas.
The picture has been a wonderful example of that. It may have been unintended, but a Government with no scruples, used to winning every argument, has trapped itself in explaining away the problem that it has never cared about. And it was not ready for it.
In your face Hugo!

The “in your face” gruesome picture seen around the world « The Devil’s Excrement

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A Satirical Site Skewers Chávez and Politics
CARACAS, Venezuela — This may be a perilous time to operate a Web site focused on politics here, given President Hugo Chávez’s recent push for new controls of Internet content. But one plucky Venezuelan satirical site is emerging as a runaway success in Latin America as it repeatedly skewers Mr. Chávez and a host of other leaders.
Named in honor of the capybara, the Labrador retriever-sized rodent that Venezuelans are fond of hunting and eating, the 2-year-old Web site, El Chigüire Bipolar, or Bipolar Capybara, is rivaling or surpassing in page views leading Venezuelan newspapers like the Caracas daily El Nacional.
The rise of Chigüire Bipolar, which has already drawn the wrath of state-controlled media here, and a handful of other popular Venezuelan sites focused on politics is taking place within a journalistic atmosphere here that international press groups say is marked increasingly by fear, intimidation and self-censorship.
Before threatening to impose unspecified Internet controls this month, Mr. Chávez pushed RCTV, a critical television network, off the airwaves andrevoked the licenses of 34 radio stations across the country. Mr. Chávez has also forced broadcasters to transmit live his speeches and televised appearances, which last hours.
“Chávez is a master communicator and a natural-born comedian, but one who doesn’t realize he’s at the center of the joke,” said Juan Andrés Ravell, 28, a part-time television scriptwriter who is one of the three founders of Chigüire (Tchee-GWEE-reh).
Mr. Ravell ascribes much of their success to the use of social media like Twitter and Facebook to lure readers to the site. Once there, they are treated to satirical videos and photo montages lambasting Mr. Chavez and other Venezuelan figures, sometimes even from the anti-Chavez camp.
Other Latin American leaders are frequent targets, too. For instance, Chigüire mocks the feel-good diplomacy of Brazil’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, portraying him as a bong-smoking bon vivant with a taste for Twinkies. Another montage derides frequent visits here by Iran’s president,Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, contending that he and Mr. Chávez have grown so close that they have glued their hands together.
Chigüire Bipolar’s biggest success so far arrived in February in the form of a 5-minute video inspired by the American television series “Lost,” in which Latin American leaders of various ideologicals stripes find themselves shipwrecked on a deserted tropical island, forced to fend for themselves.
The video, called “Presidential Island” and viewed more than 450,000 times on YouTube, depicts Mr. Chávez and Bolivia’s leftist president, Evo Morales, as star-crossed lovers who dine on American bald eagle. Colombia’s right-wing president, Álvaro Uribe, comes across as a prude, and Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, as a temptress who entrances Brazil’s Mr. da Silva. King Juan Carlos of Spain makes an appearance in which his dentures fall into the sea.
Oswaldo Graziani, 30, another of the site’s founders, said they drew inspiration from American television shows like “The Colbert Report” and Web sites like The Onion and also from a rich tradition here of political satire, including defunct humor magazines named after Venezuelan fauna like Morrocoy Azul (The Blue Tortoise) and Camaleón (Chameleon).
Mr. Graziani said going after Mr. Chávez’s critics, in addition to the president himself, and critiquing certain aspects of Venezuelan society were also priorities. For instance, Chigüire Bipolar has lampooned the student movement here by showing students more interested in swilling beer on the beach than in protests.
Another frequent target of ridicule is Mr. Ravell’s own father, Alberto Federico Ravell, a strident critic of Mr. Chávez and a prominent media executive here who said he was fired this year by the television network Globovisión as part of an effort to alleviate pressure exerted on the organization by Mr. Chávez’s government.
“We make it a principle that no one is immune, not even ourselves,” said Mr. Graziani, noting that their motto is “Partial, unfounded news from a rodent with psychological issues.”
“It’s difficult for anyone to battle against the supremacy of humor,” he said.
Some here try to wage that fight, however.
Mario Silva, the host of “La Hojilla,” or “The Razorblade,” a somber nightly talk show on state television that Mr. Chávez’s government uses to attack its critics, has condemned Chigüire Bipolar, describing its founders in February as partisan anti-Chávez drug-addicts. “We appreciated the publicity,” Mr. Ravell said in response to the state-television tirade against them.
In a separate episode this year, Mr. Chávez’s information minister, Blanca Eekhout, demanded that Laureano Márquez, a humorist who writes for the newspaper Tal Cual, be prosecuted after writing a short column imagining Venezuela free from the grasp of a ruler named “Esteban,” a code name for Mr. Chávez.
“Chávez’s government unfortunately doesn’t have much of a sense of humor about itself, which is why Bipolar Capybara has become an essential fixture in the national debate,” said Andrés Cañizález, a researcher on media freedom here for the Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders.
Others fixtures persist in criticizing Mr. Chávez, especially print media like Tal Cual, El Universal and El Nacional. And the surging use of Twitterhere to transmit antigovernment missives has prompted a sharp reaction from Mr. Chávez, who recently warned Venezuelans against using social networks.
Pressure is building now for political Web sites to bend to the government’s will. Noticias24, a leading news site here, barred visitors from commenting on articles this month after Mr. Chávez threatened to introduce Internet controls.
Mr. Chávez issued his threat after another site, Noticiero Digital, published in its comments section a false claim that at least one of his ministers had been assassinated.
The government has not announced any official measures, and so far Noticiero Digital is the only site under investigation. However, several pro-Chávez officials have said that site administrators should follow the law applied to broadcasters and be held responsible for comments.
Mr. Ravell and Mr. Graziani, who earn a living as freelance television producers and scriptwriters, finance Chigüire Bipolar out of their own pockets and with a meager revenue stream from advertising and sale of T-shirts printed with their logo.
They produce the site with a third Venezuelan partner based in Miami, Elio Casale, in a chaotic flurry of e-mail, instant-messaging and BlackBerry text messages.
“We don’t actually talk to each other that much,” Mr. Ravell said.
In an interview, Mr. Ravell said he remained hopeful that Chigüire Bipolar was opening the way for more multifaceted debate in Venezuela instead of representing a final burst of expressive ebullience online in a scenario in which Mr. Chávez might succeed in exerting control over a medium that until now has largely escaped his sway.

“Satire,” he said, “always evolves to resist the attempts to extinguish it.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/world/americas/21venezuela.html
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Eleonora Bruzual: Dolorosamente no me equivoqué con Globovisión

Cuando les informé el 1º de febrero que Globovisión había claudicado y que sus accionistas Zuloaga y Mezerhane se rumoraba habían pactado con el régimen después de presiones y amenazas terribles lamentablemente era cierto… Alberto Federico Ravell ha renunciado la noche del miércoles a su cargo de Director General de Globovisión, alegando “diferencias irreconciliables” con el resto de los socios.


El resto de los socios son Zuloaga y Mezerhane, y como les digo, lamentablemente no tuvieron la entereza para dar la lucha hasta el final…

Cuando mandé un mensaje a Zuloaga y Mezerhane desde este mismo espacio la respuesta fue el silencio y para algo sirve la filosofía popular ¡Los que callan otorgan!

Y debo repetir, como ya lo dije, que esto es un tremendo golpe para la gran masa opositora venezolana. Esos millones de hombres y mujeres de todas las edades que tenían en ese canal la tribuna donde denunciar, donde conocer realidades, donde defender lo poco de democracia que aún podíamos creer que nos quedaba. Es un tremendo golpe ciertamente, pero sólo nosotros impediremos que como quiere el tirano Chávez, sea el tiro de gracia a la resistencia. Es ahora cuando debemos ser más firmes, más fuertes, más combativos.

Durante muchos días he estado alertando sobre lo que sabía venía… Cuando les dije que el siniestro esbirro José Vicente Rangel era el encargado de llevar amenazas hasta los accionistas que claudicaron no estaba equivocada… Cuando preguntaba constantemente dónde estaba Leopoldo Castillo era una manera de decir lo que se venía llegar… El nerviosismo de muchos periodistas de esa planta respondía lo que callaban Zuloaga y Mezerhane. Ahora renuncia Alberto Federico Ravell y un 10% de acciones que posee más su conocimiento sobre la televisión pesan muchísimo… Eso definirá muchas cosas… A las 8 de la noche del miércoles se dio a conocer la renuncia. Desde el mediodía muchos periodistas ya lo esperábamos…

Eso es así: Alberto Federico Ravell renunció. Lo hizo frente a un equipo heroico que lo ha acompañado en la digna tarea de ser un demócrata sin miedo y con decencia, algo que los últimos hechos dicen que le falta a los dos señores que nos han traicionado y han demostrado que Venezuela poco le duele a los que aquí han amasado fortunas. El dinero es miedoso y hace indignos a algunos hombres. No quisiera estar en el pellejo de Zuloaga y de Mezerhane, ya que aunque se imponga el pragmatismo sobre la decencia, millones de venezolanos le perdimos el respeto y eso aunque algunos no lo crean, es peor que la cárcel, que las pérdidas económicas, que las amenazas de un déspota… Después de esto, verles las caras a los hijos, a los amigos, a la gente en la calle debe ser terrible. ¿Qué puede alegarse que justifique la cobardía…?

A Alberto Federico desde esta Trinchera de Radio Mambí le digo que aunque he tenido con él grandes diferencias, cuenta conmigo. Me emociona el coraje, me motiva la dignidad… Recuerden lo que les he dicho y vuelvo a repetir: No es el tiro de gracia… Cuidado y si más bien sea el detonante que despierte a miles que aún creen que este régimen no los aplastará a todos. El detonante que haga que esos que sólo piensan en el puestito en la Asamblea, dejen de pedirnos que actuemos como si aquí no pasa nada, como si aquí hay democracia, como si ese Poder Electoral no es una oficinucha más que el déspota controla. Que nos dejen de una vez aferrarnos al 350, que está allí en esa constitución que nos faculta para decirle ¡Basta! a un tirano traidor que nos robó la Patria.

Gentiuno

Publicado el 11.02.2010 06:02
Por Eleonora Bruzual
http://www.gentiuno.com/articulo.asp?articulo=8660

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http://www.masterdjm.blogspot.com


Guillermo Zuloaga

José Toro Hardy

Nadie se chupa el dedo, a quién el gobierno ataca es a Globovisión

Guillermo Zuloaga es uno de esos hombres valientes que están a dispuestos a luchar por sus ideas. Ciertamente es un empresario exitoso, pero a diferencia de muchos otros, no “pasa agachado” ni baja la cabeza cuando se trata de la defensa de sus principios, ni pone por delante el interés económico de sus negocios. Entiende perfectamente los riesgos en que incurre al frente de Globovisión, pero sigue adelante porque sabe que lo que está en juego es mucho más importante: es el futuro de su patria. No se deja intimidar. Heredó de su familia una carga genética, un ADN, que lo induce sin remedio a defender un valor inexorablemente ligado a la democracia: la libertad de expresión.

Nadie se chupa el dedo. A quien el Gobierno ataca es a Globovisión. Por eso todos fuimos testigos de las embestidas contra Nelson Mezerhane, contra Alverto Ravell y contra las periodistas y camarógrafos de canal.

Veamos: Venezuela suscribió en 1948 en la ONU -junto con todas las naciones civilizadas del mundo- la DECLARACIÓN UNIVERSAL DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS, cuyo Artículo 19 estipula: “TODO INDIVIDUO TIENE DERECHO A LA LIBERTAD DE OPINIÓN Y DE EXPRESIÓN; ESTE DERECHO INCLUYE EL DE NO SER MOLESTADO A CAUSA DE SUS OPINIONES, EL DE INVESTIGAR Y RECIBIR INFORMACIONES Y OPINIONES, Y EL DE DIFUNDIRLAS, SIN LIMITACIÓN DE FRONTERAS, POR CUALQUIER MEDIO DE EXPRESIÓN”.

Más claro no canta un gallo.

Y cuando el Gobierno los ataca se pone de espaldas a más de tres siglos de civilización. Ya en 1789 hombres como Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Helvecio y muchos otros -los enciclopedistas- habían sentado las bases que condujeron a la aprobación de laDECLARACIÓN DE LOS DERECHOS DEL HOMBRE Y DEL CIUDADANO, en cuyo artículo 11 queda consagrada la libertad de expresión: “LA LIBRE COMUNICACIÓN DE PENSAMIENTOS Y DE OPINIONES ES UNO DE LOS DERECHOS MÁS PRECIOSOS DEL HOMBRE; EN CONSECUENCIA, TODO CIUDADANO PUEDE HABLAR, ESCRIBIR E IMPRIMIR LIBREMENTE &”.

Se trata de principios tan fundamentales que los habitantes de este continente decidimos recogerlos en la CONVENCIÓN AMERICANA SOBRE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS, aprobada en Costa Rica el 22 de noviembre de 1969, la cual fue ratificada por Venezuela: Artículo 13- “TODA PERSONA TIENE DERECHO A LA LIBERTAD DE PENSAMIENTO Y DE EXPRESIÓN. ESTE DERECHO COMPRENDE LA LIBERTAD DE BUSCAR, RECIBIR Y DIFUNDIR INFORMACIONES DE TODA ÍNDOLE, SIN CONSIDERACIÓN DE FRONTERAS, YA SEA ORALMENTE, POR ESCRITO O EN FORMA IMPRESA O ARTÍSTICA, O POR CUALQUIER OTRO PROCEDIMIENTO DE SU ELECCIÓN”.

También nuestro país es signatario de la CARTA DEMOCRÁTICA INTERAMERICANA discutida en Lima en septiembre de 2001.

Artículo 4- “SON COMPONENTES FUNDAMENTALES DE LAS ACTIVIDADES GUBERNAMENTALES, LA PROBIDAD, LA RESPONSABILIDAD DE LOS GOBIERNOS EN LA GESTIÓN PÚBLICA, EL RESPETO POR LOS DERECHOS SOCIALES Y LA LIBERTAD DE EXPRESIÓN Y DE PRENSA &”.

El compromiso absoluto de Venezuela con estos sagrados principios queda grabado en bronce en el Artículo 57 de nuestra propia Carta Magna: “TODA PERSONA TIENE DERECHO A EXPRESAR LIBREMENTE SUS PENSAMIENTOS, SUS IDEAS U OPINIONES DE VIVA VOZ, POR ESCRITO O MEDIANTE CUALQUIER OTRA FORMA DE EXPRESIÓN Y HACER USO PARA ELLO DE CUALQUIER MEDIO DE COMUNICACIÓN Y DIFUSIÓN, SIN QUE PUEDA ESTABLECERSE CENSURA &”.

Tal es la importancia que la Constitución de 1999 le asigna a los derechos humanos -entre los cuales universalmente destaca la libertad de expresión- que en su Artículo 23 se establece: “LOS TRATADOS, PACTOS Y CONVENCIONES RELATIVOS A DERECHOS HUMANOS Y RATIFICADOS POR VENEZUELA TIENEN JERARQUÍA CONSTITUCIONAL Y PREVALECEN EN EL ORDEN INTERNO, EN LA MEDIDA EN QUE CONTENGAN NORMAS MÁS FAVORABLES A LAS ESTABLECIDAS POR ESTA CONSTITUCIÓN&”.

Todos los pactos y convenciones internacionales antes mencionados respaldan a Guillermo Zuloaga y a Globovisión. De su lado está también el peso abrumador de la razón, la historia, la Ley y la civilización. En frente está la barbarie. Si el gobernante insiste en cerrar el canal y en perseguir a sus directivos y periodistas no logrará otra cosa que amalgamar en una sola voluntad las voluntades de millones de venezolanos que se unirán y reaccionarán en defensa de la democracia.

Venezuela no quiere volver al pasado. No queremos un régimen político centralizado en el que un hombre ejerza el poder sin límites jurídicos ni de ninguna otra naturaleza y que al mejor estilo de Luis XIV -a principios del Siglo XVIII- pretenda afirmar: “L´ ÉTAT C´EST MOI”,(El Estado soy yo).

PEPETOROH@GMAIL.COM





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