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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Argentina, US Creditors Fail to Reach Deal; Default Imminent

This will mark the second time in 13 years Argentina has defaulted on its debt
More

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Officials grapple with ways to deal with problem, provide shelter for thousands of minors among illegal border crossers
More

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Legal school segregation ended in the US 60 years ago, but research project finds it still occurs based on income and race
More

Cuban Tourism Industry Stalls in 2013; Up 3.9 Percent Through June

Statistics seen as latest indication of general slowdown in country's economy
More

Video US Senate Advances Bill to Address Border Crisis

Legislation would authorize funds to house, process tens of thousands of undocumented Central American minors arriving at southern border, but faces many hurdles
More

Urbanization Can Bring Health Risks

Researchers warn of increase in heart disease, diabetes
More