After the Venezuelan news channel Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) was denied a license renewal to broadcast their content by Chavez’s administration, it had two choices: give in or find another way to disseminate its programming.
The station found an unlikely, but sensible, ally in Youtube, which is typically more likely to be broadcasting humorous vignettes than it is to be broadcasting South American news. Nonetheless, RCTV’s page quickly became the most subscribed-to destination on Youtube, registering over 10,000 subscribers and 360,000 page views within the first week.
Some have seen this use of Youtube as promoting democracy in the face of Chavez’s socialist experiment. However, on RCTV’s Youtube message board, one citizen pointedly asked, “RCTV promotes democracy? Then why did it support the military coup (against Chavez) in 2002? Why did it support the destruction of our country’s institutions?”
Another Chavez booster proclaimed “Whether it was right or wrong for the administration to bar RCTV’s television broadcasts, in the polls the majority of Venezuelans support Chavez and his aims. The small, rich sector of the ‘democratic’ society, those who have everything and are used to imposing their prerogatives on the people, are alarmed now that they can no longer go about their usual business of exploiting and brutalizing the people.”
However, the station does have its share of supporters, one of whom commented on the boards, “Take heart, RCTV, so that nothing is hidden in plain view and that all of the world’s tyrants end up feeling repudiated by the world community. Long live the students in their quest for dignity and the restoration of constitutional rights for Venezuela’s citizens.”
Related Link: RCTV’s “El Observador” on Youtube