The Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chavez “is moving forcefully to silence critics by introducing a Media Crimes bill that would give it sweeping authority to jail journalists, media executives, and bloggers who report on anything that the government considers to be harmful to state interests,” said a new assessment (pdf) by the Intelligence Community’s Open Source Center (OSC).
The Chavez government “is simultaneously moving to shut down more than 200 radio stations,” the OSC report said, and may take over the opposition news station Globovision. “Silencing his critics would allow Chavez to completely control the media message, but it would also deprive him of his long-standing scapegoat of what he describes as the oligarchic media,” the OSC said.
Like most other OSC analyses, the latest report has not been approved for public release, but a copy was obtained by Secrecy News. See “Venezuela — Chavez Moves to Silence Opposition Media,” Open Source Center, August 3, 2009.