News / Americas

US Non-confrontational Approach in Venezuela Means Less Media Coverage

US Non-Confrontational Approach in Venezuela Means Less Media Coveragei
X
April 08, 2014 10:10 PM
Outside of Latin America the anti-government street protests in Venezuela have been receiving relatively little news coverage, especially when compared to the crisis in Ukraine. Even though the South American nation is a major oil producer and its deteriorating economic and political stability could affect the world, restrictions on the press and a seeming lack of engagement by U.S. officials are keeping Venezuela out of the headlines. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Washington.
Brian Padden
Outside of Latin America the anti-government street protests in Venezuela have been receiving relatively little news coverage, especially when compared to the crisis in Ukraine. Even though the South American nation is a major oil producer, and its deteriorating economic and political stability could affect the world, restrictions on the press and a seeming lack of engagement by U.S. officials are keeping Venezuela out of the headlines.

Demonstrations in Venezuela that often turn into violent and deadly confrontations with police, the National Guard and pro-government militias have been going on for weeks.

This situation is similar to the crisis in Ukraine that forced President Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country and culminated in Russia’s takeover of Crimea.

Venezuela is getting less international media attention, in part, however, because its government has refused or revoked journalist visas, and made it difficult and dangerous for reporters.

Cynthia Romero, who is with the Freedom House, a press freedom organization, said "There are several cases of intimidation, of attacks, not only of journalists, local journalists, but also as international journalists, which also makes it very difficult for the international press to get the news out about what is happening.”

The United States and Europe are engaging in high-level diplomatic talks with Russia and Ukraine to try to resolve the regional conflict. Romero said Washington is not as engaged in Venezuela, which has led to less media coverage.  

“We do not have key officials within the U.S. and European policy circles, key opinion shapers really talking about Venezuela the way they are talking about Ukraine, and so I think that also drives the media attention,” she said.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked Secretary of State John Kerry why the United States has not spoken out forcefully against the Venezuelan government’s repression of opposition groups.

“Why can’t we just say what is obvious to anyone who sees these facts that the government of Venezuela is not and does not comport itself as a democracy, and in fact because of all of these activities and others, and violence against their own people have lost the legitimacy of a government,” said Rubio.

Washington has dismissed repeated charges by Venezuela’s leaders that it is aiding the protesters. Kerry said U.S. involvement in resolving the crisis could be misconstrued and believes regional organizations should lead international efforts.

“We are very supportive of third-party mediation efforts that are aimed at trying to end the violence and see if we can not get it [to] an honest dialogue to address the legitimate grievances of people in Venezuela,” said Kerry.

This less confrontational approach, however, also makes less news for the media to cover.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan Nack from: Oakland, CA
April 08, 2014 9:28 PM
Freedom Forum isn't a press freedom group, it's a pro-corporate capitalist press lobby. It's views, as with those of Senator Marco Rubio, reflect those of the right wing.

Secretary John Kerry's denials that the U. S. isn't engaged in covert operations to support the opposition and to sabotage the economy are laughable. Certainly neither the right nor the left in Venezuela believe him.

In Response

by: Jonathan Nack from: Oakland, CA
April 14, 2014 6:14 PM
Sure, we believe that retired President Fidel Castro, though 87 years old and infirmed, is masterminding a communist take over of Latin America from Havana. We also believe the moon is made of Swiss cheese.

This is a glimpse into the fantasy world much of Latin America's upper classes and their right wing supporters live in.

There is no taking of responsibility for the impoverishment of their peoples when they ruled. They act like there is no reason for Latin Americans to reject parties and leaders aligned with the old oligarchies, multinational corporations, and the U. S. Their explanation is that the voters are under the spell of the Castro brothers.
In Response

by: Elio Zamora from: Maturin
April 13, 2014 2:52 PM
The only problem with this situation is that Fidel Castro is spreading his communism all over South America, the plan to invade Venezuela dated back to 58-60. Now he controls the rich oil country and have the economical means to finish his old plans. He controls Nicaragua, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Grenada, and Brazil, including many small countries in the Caribbean.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

Massive Fire Engulfs Mexican Oil Rig, Four Dead

State-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) says there is no evidence of a major oil spill following the blast, which injured 16 workers
More

Floods Death Toll Rises in Chile, President Cancels Trips

Freak torrential downpours in Atacama desert, normally the driest in the world, destroyed homes and bridges, cut off roads, and left thousands stranded
More

Rio Residents Protest Olympic Eviction With Road Block

Cars gridlocked for at least five kilometers in southern neighborhood of Barra de Tijuca as residents rally against demolition of favela
More

Peru's PM, Government to Resign After Censure Vote

Move delivers a blow to President Ollanta Humala, who will now have to form another new government
More

Argentine Workers Strike Over Income Tax Rate

With economy already weak, public transport stops, many businesses close and garbage piles up on one-day walkout
More

Tickets Go on Sale for 2016 Rio Olympics

More than half of the 7.5 million tickets will cost 70 Brazilian reais ($22) or less
More