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Argentina Will No Longer Fund Hugo Chavez’s Propaganda Channel

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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The teleSUR news channel founded by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s socialist government in 2005 will no longer be funded by the newly-elected Argentine government.

Hugo Chavez founded the channel to advance Socialist propaganda. To ensure that teleSUR had a large audience, Chavez looked for the support of other Latin American presidents to fund the state-owned media firm.

When teleSUR was founded, socialist Argentine President Nestor Kirchner gave it his country’s backing. Kirchner was succeeded by his wife Cristina Kirchner, also socialist and supportive of the media company’s message.

Under the government of President Cristina Kirchner, Argentina owned and financed 16 percent of the TV channel. Kirchner left office in December, 2015, due to term limits and was succeeded by the conservative President Mauricio Macri who won the country’s October, 2015, elections.

The Argentine Minister of Public Media Hernan Lombardi told Spanish daily El Pais Tuesday the government would stop funding the TV channel because, “the idea that one TV channel can express the variety of Latin American life is interesting but that stops being the case when there is no pluralism, the news is one-directional.”

Lombardi went on to tell the newspaper the government feels there are biases on teleSUR which contradict the views of the Argentine government, “There are some topics such as human rights and political prisoners in Venezuela which are not dealt with on teleSUR. We don’t want to be complicit with these politics.”

TeleSUR President Patricia Villegas responded that the Argentine government has, “an open interest in disappearing teleSUR.” The statement by the state-funded media firm goes on to rhetorically ask, “Is it Macri’s intention to silence critics of his government?”

Under the heading of “Our Mission” on the teleSUR website it states, “teleSUR is a Latin American multimedia platform oriented to lead and promote the unification of the peoples of the SOUTH*. We are a space and a voice for the construction of a new communications order. (*) SOUTH: Geopolitical concept that promotes the struggle of peoples for peace, self-determination, respect for Human Rights and Social Justice.”

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