Human Rights Watch: Venezuela Enjoys Full Democracy and Freedom of Expression

The Director of Human Rights Watch Americas affirmed in a meeting with Venezuela's Ambassador to the U.S. and Ministers Cabello and Chacon that Venezuela enjoys full freedom of expression and democracy.

By Venpres, Aporrea.org, Venezuelanalysis.com
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Infrastructure Minister, Diosdado Cabello; Venezuela's Ambasador to the US, Bernardo Alvarez; and the Minister of Communications and Information, Jesse Chacón.

Washington DC, Oct. 22, (Rossana Rodríguez). Venpres. - Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the Division of the Americas for Human Rights Watch, reaffirmed that in Venezuela complete freedom of expression exists. He made the comments during a breakfast with non-Governmental Organizations, where the Proposed Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television was discussed in the residence of the Ambassador of Venezuela, Bernardo Alvarez.

 
Vivanco talks to political analyst Todd Tucker from the Center for Economic and Policy Research during the meeting between NGOs who defend Human Rights and to defend journalists.

Vivanco endorsed the declarations of the Minister of Communications and Information, Jesse Chacón, and of the Infrastructure Minister, Diosdado Cabello, by stating that, “Venezuela enjoys the amplest margins of freedom expression. Also, in Venezuela democracy reigns and freedom of expression is exerted in the fullest terms.”

On the other hand, Frank Smyth, representative in Washington DC of the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, said that there is a lack of professionalism and much partisanship among journalists in Venezuela. He also expressed a concern with the Proposed Law, which gives the impression that social responsibility and freedom of expression are two different issues.

With regard to this idea, Minister Chacón explained that there are different ways of seeing the media and that the one that the Venezuelan government maintains and supports is one where, "yes there is a social responsibility when you control a media outlet and this is established in the Venezuelan Constitution and UNESCO, for its part, ratifies that the rights of the children and adolescents are supreme."

The Infrastructure minister, Diosdado Cabello, added that Article 108 of the Constitution states that "the mass media, private and public, must contribute to the formation of citizens…," demonstrating the clear relation between social responsibility and freedom of expression.

 
Venezuela's Ambasador to the US, Bernardo Alvarez; and the Minister of Communications and Information, Jesse Chacón.

Concluding, minister Chacón emphasized that with the Proposed Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television "everything can be said," but in an established schedule that differentiates and respects child programming. With regard to violent news, the minister explained that a way for informing at the moment is being studied, independent of the schedule, so that the importance of immediacy is maintained, but is transmitted so that it does not disturb children’s programming.