- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
The ambassador of Venezuela, whose government is widely criticized for civil rights abuses, denounced a House subcommittee for holding a hearing into press censorship under socialist President Hugo Chavez, calling it a “sad spectacle” and vilifying a Latin American human rights official for appearing before the U.S. Congress.
Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez also complained that Republicans dominated the hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere subcommittee, although the Democratic chairman was equally critical of Venezuela’s press censorship.
“Should freedom of the press be an instrument for owners of media outlets to actively conspire against the democratically elected government?” Mr. Alvarez said in a statement responding to the hearing last week.
He dismissed congressional concerns over an arrest warrant issued againstGuillermo Zuloaga, owner of Globovision, a television network critical of Mr. Chavez’s authoritarian regime. He also complained about remarks on the arrest warrant from State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.
He railed against Catalina Botero of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States. She complained about the “increasing harassment” of Venezuela’s independent media.
The ambassador called her appearance before Congress “intolerable” and noted that freedom of the press is guaranteed in the Venezuelan constitution.
At the subcommittee hearing, Marcel Granier, president of Radio Caracas Television International (RCTV), said Mr. Chavez controls the opposition media through “censorship and fear” and uses state-owned television and radio to “criminalize everybody who dares to have an opinion different from the government.” Mr. Chavez shut down RCTV in January.
Rep. Eliot L. Engel, New York Democrat and subcommittee chairman, complained that Mr. Chavez has “intimidated journalists,” while the senior Republican on the panel, Rep. Connie Mack of Florida, added that Mr. Granier stands accused of “trumped-up charges.”
“The government of Venezuela does not stop at arresting individuals who express contrary opinions,” Mr. Mack said, “it works tirelessly to eliminate those opinions entirely.”
AFGHANS’ NEXT CRISIS
The ambassador of Afghanistan is worried that his country may be running out of water, as it continues to battle forces bent on turning the nation back into an extremist Islamic state.
Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad cited a new report from the United States Geological Survey that found at least 60 percent of shallow ground-water wells in the vicinity of the capital, Kabul, could run dry within 50 years. The study also predicted that the demand for fresh drinking water could increase by 600 percent over the same period.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: Hostage location classified
- House introduces resolution to honor Nelson Mandela
- Iranian exiles call for probe of Camp Ashraf attack
- Embassy Row: 'What a tragedy,' African diplomat says of Mandela's death
- Embassy Row: Israeli at the White House in another Golda moment
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Harry Reid's visa pressure cooker
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- KOENIG: Should Congress hike your taxes ... or, instead, slash spending?
- Christmas secularists get 6-foot beer-can Festivus pole at Florida Statehouse
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Global economy, the civilizing power of markets and public morals.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow