Follow-Up Statement: Wholesale Firings at Radio of the South

The Workers’ Collective of the Radio of the South denounces political persecution and wholesale firings at the station.

After the disgraceful action against Professor Cristina González earlier this month, removed from the presidency of Radio del Sur in an abrupt and unexplained manner, this past Tuesday, May 24th, a group of the station’s workers were simultaneously fired.

Those whose firings have been confirmed to date include:

Fredy Muñoz Altamiranda (Colombian journalist, political exile, and member of the station’s collective leadership), Marcos Salgado (Argentine journalist, responsible for coordinating the station’s Press Department and host of the show “All Around the South”), Hernán Cano (Argentine journalist, responsible for coordinating the station’s Production Department and host of the show “In Orbit”), Aaron Corredor (Colombian journalist, responsible for coordinating the station’s Programming Department), and Ernesto J. Navarro (Venezuelan journalist, host of show “Compass of the South”).

The only argument made for the firings: The “relaunching” and the “reorganization” of the Radio of the South.

We denounce this persecutionary act against these communication comrades, people with lengthy careers based on professionalism, people who have repeatedly proven their commitment to the Bolivarian Revolution and the struggles of the peoples of America.

On Monday, 9th of May, when Cristina González was removed from her position at the station, this collective of workers convened the station’s new president, Desireé Santos Amaral, in order to discuss the ongoing construction of Radio of the South as a communicational project at the service of Latin America’s emancipation.

This Monday, 23rd of May, we reiterated, in writing, to the station president Santos Amaral, our willingness to dialogue, since over the course of 15 days we had not received any orientation – only rumors and veiled pressuring.

We hold Venezuela’s Minister of Information and Communication, Andrés Izarra responsible for this new attack against the workers at Radio of the South, and we demand an end to the workplace persecution against those who he “has had his eyes fixated on for a long time,” as ex station president Cristina González recently said.

We thank all those revolutionary comrades who shared their solidarity, with those who shared in the collective rejection of these actions against us; attacks against us which we interpret within a context of a larger attack on a political-communicational project that we have been developing, a project that prioritizes the actions and the proposals of the popular movement and calls for self-criticism, necessary within a process of deepening the Revolution so that it does not become frozen by reformist sectors. We have done nothing more than keep with the calls of Commander Hugo Chávez.

We know that there are plans to fire more people, as well as to remove more programs from the airwaves, beyond those mentioned above. 

The Workers’ Collective of the Radio of the South will maintain itself within Radio of the South, contributing as it has until now, with its elevated level of commitment and dedication to the Bolivarian Revolution, alongside Commander Hugo Chávez and those who struggle for Socialism.

In the context of the most recent aggressions that Venezuela has suffered at the hands of the United States, that is, with the enforcement of U.S. sanctions against PDVSA, we reiterate once again that the principal enemy is the Empire.

Translated by Juan Reardon for Venezuelanalysis.com