Venezuelan journos menaced in Honduras

According to Aporrea, journalists from the Venezuelan state channel, VTV, and the international Latin American news channel, Telesur, have been detained and threatened in Honduras. Why the Venezuelans, of all people? Because they are the only ones daring to report fully and honestly on the coup a it unfolds. And because, as state-funded journalists, they are automatically presumed to be Chavistas. And as such, they are the “tyranny” of a good example. Can’t have that, can we…

Here is some relevant video from the Aporrea report:

The first news reports of the detentions. The journos had their passports confiscated by the “authorities” who, at this time, are no authorities at all, but are shock troops for the coup. The director of Channel 36 in Tegucigalpa recognizes and supports the good work the Venezuelans are trying to do in getting the truth out to a larger world audience. And a human-rights commission member denounces the clear violation of the rights of Hondurans–as well as the foreign reporters trying to do their job.

The Venezuelans have since been released from custody, but threatened–and ordered to leave Honduras by the military regime.

And to see just how uncomfortably complete and honest (and BS-free) Venezuelan reporting on the coup can be, check out this link. Dossier, hosted by the intrepid Walter Martínez, devotes a full hour to the coup events “en pleno desarrollo” (as they unfold). The report notes HUGE demonstrations against the coup (and for the missing Honduran president, Mel Zelaya), with a strong Afro-Honduran and indigenous/mestizo presence; the anti-coup sentiment cuts across all color lines among the middle and lower classes. (It’s also worth observing that every one of the coup perpetrators is very oligarchic and very, very white. Not a brown face among them.)

There are reports of beatings and killings which the lamestream (and pro-coup) media are trying to whitewash out (literally!). Since the coup perps have been excoriating the international community for refusing to recognize them as a legitimate government, it’s not surprising that they don’t want critical, honest reporters in the country. Little wonder, then, that they’re picking specifically on the Venezuelans. Among other things, Venezuela has a large number of truly independent journalists among the ranks in its government and socialist-activist groups. Some are bloggers; others work for independent, alternative or community media. But all of them, to a person, are indignant at the removal of a legitimate president from his post in Honduras, especially since said prez is taking leaves from the book of their own popular leader–a man who puts everything, right up to and including the new constitution–to a popular vote, and abides by it.

And of course, the scenes playing themselves out in Honduras are all too reminiscent of something that happened in Venezuela seven years ago. Something that was also not reported accurately or completely by the local right-wing commercial media, but which the people themselves undertook to report when the newspapers and broadcasters refused to do their job.

PS: For a good translation of the Aporrea piece, see Machetera.

PPS: More good info on Zelaya as a politician @ Machetera; helpful backgrounder to the whole Honduran constitutional Schmier @ Harper’s.

PPPS: Chavecito has stepped up to condemn the non-government of Honduras. He actually calls the de facto non-president “Goriletti”–“gorila” is an old LatAm expression for right-wing military dictators. Video here.

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