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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

US, Cuba Reach Deal to Open Embassies in Washington, Havana

Formal unveiling will fulfill pledge former Cold War rivals made little more than 6 months ago when President Obama, Cuban President Raul Castro announced historic diplomatic opening
More

Mexico Won't Send Contestant to Miss Universe

Decision follows remarks by Donald Trump, an owner of the pageant, who referred to Mexican immigrants to US as criminals and rapists
More

WHO Declares Cuba First Country to End Mother-to-child HIV Transmission

In 2013, only two children in Cuba were born with HIV and five with syphilis, according to World Health Organization statement
More

US-Brazil Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy
More

Obama, Rousseff Try to Put Spy Scandal Behind Them

Two leaders opened two days of talks in Washington on Monday
More

Climate Tops Obama Meeting with Brazil Leader

It is not yet known if Rousseff will announce her country's emissions reduction targets while in Washington
More