“On the Media” Interview with COHA Director Larry Birns on Venezuelan Democracy and Accusations of Chavez’s Media Censorship.

In light of the Venezuelan Congress’ recent decision to grant President Hugo Chávez the power to rule by decree as well as the proposed nationalization of U.S.-held business, and other issues, COHA Director Larry Birns was interviewed on January 26 on National Public Radio’s “On The Media.” This network program is hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone and produced by Tony Field. The interview focuses upon some of the key issues concerning President Chávez’s bid for greater executive power, his controversial refusal to renew the public broadcasting license of Radio Caracas TV, the seeming lag in the development of Venezuelan democracy, as well as the future of U.S. – Venezuelan relations, and how editorial writers from the Washington Post, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal who are critical of Chávez, at times distorts Venezuelan realities and fails to take into account crucial historical perspectives. Both the transcript and audio of the interview are available. In addition, subsequent praise and criticism of the interview can be found in the COHA forum.

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