CARACAS, Tuesday December 07, 2004 | Update
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Monday announced that
the Radio and Television Social Responsibility Law, known
as content law, is to be enacted immediately.
His statements came during the opening ceremony of the 2nd Bolivarian Congress of the Peoples. Chávez stated "today (Monday) I am going to sign this law that is to put an end to fascism in the private media, which have focused on poisoning Venezuelans by sending them messages of sex, violence and by supporting destabilizing terrorism."
Nevertheless, before Chávez may enact the content law, the National Assembly needs to hold a session to give the law a final reading and send it to the Executive Power for consideration. Such reading is scheduled for Tuesday.
"In Venezuela, the democratization of the media -(owned by) oligarchs who have supported coups and strikes- is to start very soon. The interests of the powerful will not continue to prevail over millions of people."
He also said that any media infringing the law shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. "You may be sure that anyone violating the time schedules as set forth under the law, transmitting inadequate images, supporting actions intended to destabilize Venezuelans, will be promptly punished and fined by the law enforcing bodies in the country."
He also claimed that the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) is the major support for coup-plotting media in Latin America. "The ineffable Inter-American Press Association is meeting today (Monday, in Caracas). They have taken the private TV stations to claim that my government is a tyrant and violates Venezuelans' human rights. But I want to ask them why don't they say anything about five Cuban citizens who are kidnapped in the United States and about the U.S. journalists who are under arrest in their own country. Hear this: the revolutionary process is moving forward and no association is to stop us from improving our children's and teenagers' mental health."
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.