You can’t keep a good president down…or shut him up. And why would you want to, when he empowers his own people to speak out, too? Especially not when he just won a very important prize for doing just that?
The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, will receive a journalism prize on December 4 in Argentina from a public university.
The Directing Council of the Faculty of Journalism and Social Communication of the National University of La Plata resolved unanimously to present Correa with the Rodolfo Walsh Prize in the category of “Latin American president for popular communication”.
The distinction, which has already been awarded to the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, as well as Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, will be presented to Correa on December 4 in La Plata, 50 kilometres south of the capital, Buenos Aires.
The Directing Council emphasized the role of Correa in the process of cultural and social change in Latin America “since the political decision of the States and the peoples to break with the logic of neoliberalism, in favor of inclusive and popular politics in all ambits — fundamentally, in the area of communication.”
The Directing Council added that “for decades, owing to the concentration of media in few hands”, social organizations “did not have a chance for their voices to circulate and be heard”.
“The Ecuadorian political project, headed by Correa, proposes precisely the opposite: offer tools to the poor and marginalized sectors of society for speaking out and telling their own stories.”
The council’s communiqué also emphasizes the “deepening of democratic quality” in Ecuador, the incorporation of communication as a human right in the new national constitution, the participation of the Ecuadorian government in the creation of the international news network Telesur, and the new laws on media and communications currently before the National Assembly.
“Rafael Correa is one of the current protagonists in the battle against hegemonic will, which is attempting to restrict speech and, by way of that, individual and social subjects,” the resolution added.
Well. Fancy that. And here the anglo whore media keep telling us that Correa is silencing and restricting free speech and yadda-yadda-yadda. They lied to us again. Imagine that! You’d almost think they were a mouthpiece for corporate interests themselves, eh?
And in case you wonder if this wasn’t just some politically motivated prize, here are some facts about the man it was named for:
Rodolfo Jorge Walsh (born on January 9, 1927 in Lamarque*) was an Argentine writer, considered the founder of investigative journalism. He is most famous for his Open Letter from a Writer to the Military Junta which he wrote the day before his murder, protesting that their economic policies were having an even greater effect on ordinary Argentines than their human rights abuses. He was murdered on March 25, 1977.
Rodolfo Walsh was a progressive of the Argentine left, murdered by the corporate-friendly fascist military junta for daring to exercise freedom of speech. If you think capitalists care a damn for freedom of speech, be warned: they want to limit it most severely. If they had their way, only the most elite of their designated mouthpieces would get it at all.
And in fact, that was the situation in all of Latin America until fairly recently, when all these Bolivarian presidents began to be elected and to change things. First Chavecito, then Evo, then Rafael Correa. They all began to allocate serious money for public, community and alternative media, and to collaborate on the Telesur network, which is Latin America’s answer to the corporatist crapaganda of CNN en Español. The result: an explosion of alternatives to the bullshit narrative of There Is No Alternative.
Or as Chavecito said in the opener to The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: “Clearly there are other ways, and here in Latin America, we are proving it!”
Congratulations, Mashi Rafael.