FREEDOM OF MEDIA IN VENEZUELA

In Venezuela social media used to be a free means of the people. If you go on google and search for Venezuela what comes up is the situation that the country is going through at this time. It is rampant, as if it was the only thing relevant to Venezuela. The truth is that that is not the only thing that needs to be recognized about such a beautiful country but it is very important that awareness is raised about what is happening there. How might this have anything to do with culture? It has everything to do with culture because what is happening to Venezuela right now is greatly affecting it. The way of life, the people, the atmosphere is all changing due to the situation. In other words, Venezuelan culture is being negatively affected because of the situation. What is happening in Venezuela is very elaborate. Here I have posted a video that explains what has been happening with more detail but in this post we will focus on what the illegimate government has done to social media. In the very beginning of president Chávez presidency, he started to limit the freedom of press very passively. The first thing that the government openly did to sensor media was that in 2002 when Chávez closed down the TV news station RCTV (Radio Caracas Televisión Internacional) because they had shown on air a Coup d’etat (golpe de estado) against the government that happened on April 11th of 2002 even when he order to not show the situation on television.

The situation has gotten increasingly worst as the years have gone by, and even more now under the power of the illegitimate president Nicolas Maduro. At the beginning of this year there were protest almost every month mostly led by the young Venezuelan students. This was a peaceful protest but the government attacked the students physically and killed many of the  university students who were just standing up for the freedom of their country. They also started taking random students in the protest as prisoners.

People protesting about freedom of press. Picture owned by: International Press Institute

People protesting about freedom of press.       Picture owned by: International Press Institute

The government though, did not allow this to go out of the country by any form of media at all. Not even in Venezuela did he allow the news to cover what was happening, even though it was evident by living there. But overall, the freedom of press was completely taken away. So the people started turning to social media in order to let the world know what was happening in Venezuela. We did not want to fight alone.

Maduro chasing twitter saying “You are the only one left” as the TV and computer and such are sitting in the back with chains.                              Picture owned by: Implied Inference

Facebook, twitter, youtube, Instagram all became the way that Venezuela could get the news out. Eventually, the government started censuring these too. People could not access certain social media applications and if you did you could be in great danger. Many journalists who went against the government and published videos on youtube would disappear or known to be taken by the government. Eventually twitter seemed to be the only media, not only social but any media at all, that was not controlled or blocked form the government. This fight for freedom is still going on today. The people are suffering greatly because they are being forced to live under a dictator and a forming communist government. The protests have stopped but the corruption still goes on. This situation has greatly affected culture because Venezuela is not the same as it was. The way people live has changed dramatically and consequently so has the culture. It is important that we know and are aware of what is going on in these countries who are trapped by the government with no freedoms, not even the freedom from hunger or fear. Even if it has to be through twitter because all other means are taken away, Venezuela fights for freedom. Always.

Picture owned by: El Venezolano Houston

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