There can be no democracy while the media remain in capitalist hands

Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez in Argentina raises the issue of creating a socialist, a people’s media network at the service of the working class to counter the lies and distortions of the bourgeois media in Venezuela and internationally. From the Hands Off Venezuela site.

Hands Off Venezuela: International Declaration over the Media

Freeing the media from the alien, criminal influence of the coup organisers is an important step towards the establishment of a socialist press: a press that tells the truth. The steps taken by Venezuela towards the democratization of its radio networks are an example of how this should be carried out. We actively support these measures and reaffirm our support for the establishment of socialism. On December 3rd 2006, 63% of the votes cast in the presidential election - that is, the votes of 7.3 million Venezuelan citizens - were in favour of ‘my socialist project' as Chavez himself put it.

The struggle being waged in Venezuela at the present time has the support of the most important international social forums, or at least of those who do not harbour a complacent attitude towards the poverty and barbarism that capitalism inflicts on the peoples of the world.

The measures taken over the media are not the result of some momentary madness nor a personal "vendetta" or an "authoritarian trend", as the bourgeois spokespeople seek to portray them at every opportunity. On the contrary, they are the first steps towards creating a new global media ideology, building new information networks and encouraging plurality of ideas: establishing media that will be at the service of humankind. A New Socialist Order requires New Socialist communication systems, free from the influence of alien forces. These are necessary steps towards building a permanent and creative revolution.

It is essential that the Venezuelan people feel that a clear victory over the issue of the media is necessary. The Venezuelan people are fighting on many different fronts, and a victory over this important issue will be a big step forward.

It is not the crocodile tears of those who have benefited from the private ownership of the media for years that concern us, nor the empty words of politicians, academics or journalists who have been faithful servants of the capitalist ideology that has monopolised the media. The issue in question is that the Venezuelan people need and want a socialised and revitalised communications system. The way forward now is for the people to develop and strengthen their own means of communication, both on a national level and with the outside world. The fundamental thing is to make heard the voices of those who wish to make history and no longer be victims. There have already been far too many victims.

The only important issue at stake is that the revolutionary will that is giving birth to a new society from below is able to express itself through new forms of communication. The old ways employed by the bourgeois media must be defeated and overcome. All that was best in them we can take with us, but now released from the grip of private ownership. We can use the best techniques to produce a different form of communication: one that is creative, loving and humorous. We can produce media that will express the views of all: media that will report on the Socialist Revolution in Venezuela and socialist movements worldwide in complete freedom.

We completely reject the declarations of the OEA and its allies. We demand the most scrupulous respect for the democratic will of the Venezuelan people, their President, the laws relating to communication and the Government's decisions in relation to the media that are now the property of the whole of society.

We call on workers in general, and particularly those who work in the media, the readers and audiences, the social movements, the progressive media organisations and collectives and revolutionary students to join us in an international struggle. We call for open debates, press releases and public demonstrations to let the Venezuelan people know they are not alone in this decisive battle. The people of Venezuela need media that are free from the control of the monopolies and gangsters, and so do all the peoples of the world. Workers can rely only on the solidarity of other workers. Let us organise in solidarity under the banner of a revolutionary programme. Let us initiate an international programme for free and democratic media and for socialism. The oligarchs are already preparing to strike a blow. We must not be passive. We must not be naïve.

All power to the Venezuelan Revolution!

Hands off Venezuela!

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

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