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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Rctv; G8 Summit; 06/04/07

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DE RUEHBU #1090/01 1560913
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 050913Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8322
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001090

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; RCTV; G8 SUMMIT; 06/04/07

1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Weekend international opinion pieces are mostly related to the
implications of the revocation of RCTV's license in Venezuela; and
the upcoming G8 Summit with the major topics of disagreement between
the US and Russia.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Venezuela - Chavez's black and white TV"

Leading "Clarin" carries an op-ed piece by its international analyst
Oscar Raul Cardoso, who penned (06/02) "When one watches Telesur, it
is impossible not to think 'I wish Hugo Chavez had not eliminated
RCTV to replace it with Telesur-styled TV.'

"... Obviously enough, RCTV used to be in complicity with conspirers
against democracy trying to place businessman Pedro Carmona Estanga
as a president...

"However, we can also say the same about Venevision private TV
network, and, in spite of it, it obtained the renewal of its
license. Of course, what must have helped it is that ever since
2004, Venevision... cleaned its programming of all anti-Chavist
vestiges.

"It is interesting to note that the same 'coup d'etat organizer'
term (which Chavez applies to RCTV) could be applied to Chavez
himself when rebelling against the constitutional government in
1992.

"... The concept of democracy is related to the idea of change and
transformation that is intended to build a better life. However,
making something Manichean of that change, in which everything that
is not in line with the government is always bad, is not the way the
present will work better."

- "A little bit of competition"

Left-of-center "Pagina 12" (06/03) writes "Hugo Chavez's decision
not to renew RCTV's concession shocked Venezuela and the world of
the media...

"It seems obvious that a government voted by two-thirds of the
people to promote a socialist regime aspires to have a TV channel to
broadcast cultural programs instead of garbage TV. It also seems
apparent that a government has the right not to renew a license
because the opposite would be to suppose that licenses are eternal.
RCTV was neither censored nor expropriated or fined or punished, but
it had to transfer its programming to a cable TV signal and an
Internet Site...

"It seems obvious but it is not usual. The governments seldom
confront economic groups controlling major mass media because the
corporate response is frequently blunt. When they feel threatened,
mass media wield their lobbying power to defend what they call
'freedom of expression' through their paid communicators who many
times define themselves as 'independent journalists.'

"One could argue that what Chavez did was not 'neat.' He had
abundant reasons not to renew and even to deprive RCTV of its
license because the channel had promoted the failed 202 coup d'etat.
However, the government never submitted a formal complaint to
investigate this behavior nor did it explain why RCTV was the only
channel paying for that support when most 'independent' media had
supported the coup. Nevertheless, here and everywhere governments
negotiating renewals in private meetings are neither -'neat' in this
regard.

"... Until not a long time ago, a private oligopoly used to control
the media agenda in Venezuela. Now, this oligopoly faces the
competition of the Chavez administration's communication
apparatus... A bit of competition is always good for the sake of
information diversity."

- "A hostile encounter between Moscow and the US"

Luisa Corradini, international columnist of daily-of-record "La
Nacion," writes (06/03) "This week, G8 leaders will desperately seek
to avoid a new Cold War between Moscow and the West, which seems
inevitable after the US decision to set up an antimissile shield on
the Russian borders and Vladimir Putin's threats to 'turn Europe
into an explosive trouble spot.'

"Other important points of disagreement, such as the way to contain
climate change and Kosovo's future status, confirm the profound
prevailing tension in the G8...
"The disagreement between Russia and the US has deepened during
recent months due to Washington's decision to set up 10 interception
missiles in Poland and ultra-modern radar in the Czech Republic in
the framework of its antimissile shield project...

"According to Moscow, this project is an act of provocation. 16
years after the end of the Cold War, the Kremlin has also denounced
NATO's intention to expand its borders and let the US set up new
bases in its former sanctuary, from Rumania up to Kirguiztan, as a
premeditated form of aggression.

"... Nonetheless, those are not the only points of friction between
Washington and Moscow. The White House blames the Kremlin for the
retreat suffered by democracy in Russia and the use of energy as a
way of pressuring international politics. Additionally, both capital
cities admit to having 'diametrically opposed' positions vis-`-vis
the future of Kosovo. In opposition to the European countries and
the US, Russia is against the UN mediator's plan for Kosovo, who is
planning some form of 'monitored independence' for the Serbian
province..."

"... In this framework, the only topic that seems to have consensus
is Iran. The G8 could decide on new sanctions against Tehran if it
continues to refuse to halt its uranium enrichment-related
activities in spite of the calls by the international community."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our classified website
at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

MATERA

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