By Charlie Hardy
Posted on Sun May 27th, 2007 at 04:27:42 PM EST
As I write this, I am looking at a Venezuelan newspaper, El Diario, from February 10, 1992. The editorial that would have occupied half of page 2 is missing. Page 4 is completely blank. The contents were censored by the government of the then president Carlos Andres Perez.
The newspaper is just one of many horrible memories of the pre-Hugo Chavez days in Venezuela’s “exceptional” democracy.
U.S. newspapers seem to overlook what Venezuela used to be like as they today discuss the actions of the current government. I have lived in Venezuela for most of the past 22 years and have never experienced such freedom as that which the Venezuelan population enjoys today under Hugo Chavez. That would include freedom of information. Never, in the past 22 years, has the mass media experienced the freedom it has had during the presidency of Chavez. One can freely buy anti-Chavez newspapers on streets and the airwaves and television channels are amply filled with anti-Chavez commentators.