Hugo Chavez may have chased his critics off the air in Venezuela, but he has not chased them out of Venezuelan homes. Radio Caracas Television could soon start transmitting its programming — and its criticism of the Chavez government — from Mexico, confounding the dictator’s efforts to silence RCTV:
The head of an opposition-aligned Venezuelan television station that was forced off the air by that nation’s government said he has received offers to co-produce and transmit programming from Mexico.
Marcel Granier, whose Radio Caracas Television went off the air May 27 after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez decided not to renew its broadcast license, vowed Tuesday to keep trying to reach Venezuelan audiences by any means possible.
He said he had “good friends” in Mexico’s two major TV networks.
“Our commitment … is to re-establish that contact [with Venezuelans], either from Venezuela or from abroad, by any means possible, by cable, by satellite, by Internet,” Granier told reporters.
The distance would be too great for television broadcasts, unless RCTV can get repeaters closer to Venezuela to carry their signal. Cable seems problematic, as Chavez can probably keep providers from carrying the new station. RCTV’s best opportunities will be satellite and Internet ventures.
This will force Chavez to impose ever-stricter state control over the media if he expects to block them. Those kinds of censorship will only inflame opposition even further, creating a vicious circle of despotism that will undo Chavez in the long run.