Caracas Broadcasting Corporation

August 3rd, 2012
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Readers may have missed a recent item on CBC Radio One The World at Six, so let me summarize. Apparently recent developments in Venezuela’s presidential campaign warranted a feature report on Hugo Chavez. The Latin American strongman is seeking a fourth six-year term as president. CBC’s perspective was, er, noteworthy.

Mothercorp’s Latin America correspondent, Connie Watson, took what one might call an indulgent approach. She referred to Mr. Chavez as, amongst other things, the “charismatic leader” and marvelled at his ability to speak for 20 minutes without notes.

This perspective is interesting, given that it would be hard to imagine CBC admiring the charisma of leaders such as, say, Francisco Franco or Antonio Salazar of Portugal. In fairness, these gentlemen weren’t particularly charismatic. As I recall however, back in the day, CBC ran multiple reports on the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion – Canadians who fought on the Communist/Socialist side in the Spanish Civil War – and bemoaned the fact that they were not officially recognized as veterans by our federal government.

Interestingly, even as bland a source as Wikipedia, which mentions Chavez’s “progressive” politics, is more critical than CBC. They note the dictator’s statement that “if a right-wing president takes office (in the upcoming election), it would mean an end of social reforms (and) lead to civil war”. They also mention that he has been sanctioned by Human Rights Watch for “fundamental disregard for the principle of judicial independence”.

As a follow-up, one can perhaps look forward to a feature CBC interview with Sean Penn. Or we can just enjoy the long weekend. Have a good one.

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By John Weissenberger
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