Statement: Dismissal of president of the Radio of the South
By Workers’ Collective of the Radio of the South
*Translator’s note: the Radio of the South (Radio del Sur – http://laradiodelsur.com/) is a regional radio network based in Caracas. It began operating in September 2009 and was formally launched in January 2010. Currently, most of its 88 stations are in Latin America, but it eventually hopes to have programming in other languages and to be available in Africa as well. It aims to promote the union of the peoples of South through information exchange and cross-national collaboration.
In light of the dismissal of the president of the Radio of the South, the Workers’ Collective of the Radio of the South has, in a meeting, agreed on the following statement:
1) We reject the dismissal of the teacher Cristian Gonzalez, as president of the Radio of the South, a position she has occupied since May 2010. The decision was communicated by telephone this Monday 9 May by the Minister for Communication and Information, Andres Izarra, who avised that he would name journalist Desiree Santos Amaral in her place.
We believe the way Gonzalez was fired, without any explanation or formality, behaviour that is incoherent with socialist principles, was denigrating and lacked respect.
As workers, as committed activists in the Bolivarian Revolution, we also feel that this decision goes against our own participation in a process that is called on to change the vertical and undemocratic culture that is incompatible with socialism, as our opinion wasn’t even consulted.
We don’t doubt the authority of the president of the Republic, Hugo Chavez Frias, as leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, to make changes in the heads of his ministries and their organisations, but we believe the method chosen by the minister wasn’t correct.
2) We think (since we have already rejected the reason why the president of the Radio of the South was dismissed) that this decision isn’t against the person and the work of Cristina Gonzalez, but rather against the alternative communication project that we the workers of the Radio of the South have been constructing, and the fact that some of the themes have been vanguard and informative, in Venezuela and in Latin America.
We recognise that there are attacks by reformist sectors within the revolution who are made uncomfortable just by the visualisation of the struggle of our people, of the successes against bureaucracy and opportunism, of the explosion of the practice of self-criticism – not as a mere rhetorical reference but rather as a revolutionary practice, of the construction of alternative communication within the National System of Public Media, in which the sources of news are the organised people, social and political movements, as well as the government public servants.
3) In light of this situation, the Collective of Workers of the Radio of the South calls on comrade Santos Amaral to continue with the participative process within the running of the radio station, together with the workers, in the making of administrative and editorial decisions, something which has been characteristic since the start of this unprecedented communication project for the liberation of our peoples.
“From self-criticism always comes the strength to re-propel [the struggle]” – Hugo Chavez Frias
Collective of Workers of the Radio of the South
Marcela Cornejo Zamorano
Jessica Dos Santos J.
María Mercedes Cobo Echenagucia
Fredy Muñoz Altamiranda
Yanosky Verdi Pacheco
Carlos Echeverri Florez
Aarón D. Corredor Russi
Arlene C. Flores P.
Ernesto J. Navarro
Ana Teresa Pérez Ferrer
Translated by Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com