Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
11 June 2008

Zimabwe: where even the SABC is “subversive”

More proof that anything remotely resembling a free and fair election in Zimbabwe is not possible. From the This is Zimbabwe website:

The Zimbabwean government has announced the beginning of yet another operation designed to oppress the people of Zimbabwe.

Under Operation Dzikisai Madhishi (Operation pull down your satellite dish) the regime is forcing Zimbabweans to pull down their home satellite dishes through which the majority of Zimbabweans have been able to access eTV, SABC, Botswana Television as well some DSTV channels. The coverage of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is generally poor outside of the main urban areas. The overwhelming propaganda content of this state channel has seen the proliferation of private satellite dishes in recent years.

This operation is a concerted effort by the regime to close all spaces through which information can be disseminated, with the objective of stealing the election.

Zimbabwe has descended into unparalleled levels of media censorship. The regime is determined to cut off Zimbabweans from the rest of the world by ensuring that they are unable to receive news from outside Zimbabwe about what is happening in their own country.

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