The Grupo Editorial El Venezolano [“The Venezuelan Editorial Group”] (GEV), a news organization of out Miami, Florida, has filed a complaint against the Venezuelan government before the International Press Institute (IPI). Oswaldo Muñoz, the head of GEV, filed the complaint with the organization in light of the Venezuelan government’s “constant and permanent violation” of fundamental human rights such as the freedom of expression.
Muñoz presented a document outlining specific instances of human rights violations by the national government to IPI’s executive director, Barbara Troinfi, in the organization’s Qatar headquarters. The document contains a list of 287 violations of the freedom of expression, including threats by high-ranking PSUV officials against media organizations and their owners.
One of the alleged violations includes the government’s recent about-face on Globovision, a network which enjoyed the government’s favour until relatively recently when it began to take a more critical approach to the PSUV. The document also outlines the case of El Carabobeño, a newspaper that had been in circulation for 82 years but was forced to shut down on March 17 after the government refused to assign it foreign currency with which it would have bought printing paper. The newspaper was also generally critical of the government.
ANTV Workers Cry Foul Over PSUV Involvement
Yoraco Falcon, a spokesperson for workers from the Asamblea Nacional Television station, said earlier today that a union formed by the PSUV bloc in the National Assembly to represent them is actually defaming them and violating their labour rights. Falcon asked the National Assembly to investigate the Fundacion Asamblea Nacional, as he claims that its activities are negatively impacting the station’s 174 workers.
There have been lots of problems related to this. These people have dedicated themselves to defame us as workers. We’ve already said this: we’re not politicians. We’re workers, and all we’re looking for is social and economic vindication.
When the opposition won the December 6 parliamentary elections, it promised to open the legislature’s doors to all media – not just that owned by the government in the form of ANTV. At the time, the PSUV bloc considered the gesture to be a direct attack on the ANTV workers, and they rose to their defense.
However, in early January, the ANTV’s offices were looted by unknown assailants who sabotaged equipment and ripped up antennas. At the time, ANTV workers also denounced that they were being fired illegally by the station’s leadership.
Falcon said that the workers resent having the PSUV bloc claim to speak for them, saying:
We’re no one’s lackeys. We work at this channel. We’re asking that the National Assembly [investigate] what’s happening with this channel.
Basic Nutritious Food Basket Shoots Up 514.2% in One Year
The price of the basic nutritious food basket – the combination of food items necessary to maintain a healthy diet – is 514.2% higher today than it was last year, according to the Centro de Documentacion y Analisis Social de la Federacion Venezolana de Maestros (CENDAS). In February, a family of five needed to earn 12.9 times the minimum monthly salary to be able to afford nutritious food for the month, which amounted to Bs. 121,974.47.
The prices of virtually every basic food item increased dramatically in February. Sugar and salt prices went up by 96.6%, while that of cereal increased by 62.3%; cheese, milk and eggs averaged an increase of 20.3%, while the price of fish shot up 28.3%.
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