Venezuela’s Chavez Widens Attack On Opposition Media

It is important to add to the estimable work of Christian Oliver by mentioning that President Hugo Chavez has been successful in instilling a sense of legitimacy and confidence in his formula for participatory democracy (“Venezuela’s Chavez widens attack on opposition media” May 29,2007). Aimed at building an inclusive society, the Venezuelan leader has begun to develop a unique form of democracy that has greatly benefited the majority of his people, an outcome many Latin Americans outside of Venezuela might hope to see emulated in their own countries. Although there seems to be a compelling reason for the government communication commission’s decision not to renew opposition TV network RCTV’s license, it seems that he may have jeopardized the political balance of countries less committed to these values by setting a precedent that could possibly be used less democratically by other Latin American Presidents. One can only hope that his recent actions, however justified they may be, will not be used as an excuse for the U.S. to foment efforts at political and economic isolation of Venezuela from the American people as well as from the rest of the world.