Narco News '02
July 9, 2002
From somewhere in a country
With the support of our
readers (that's you)
- the only boss we have - Narco News has now overcome
the sabotage to our computer facilities which had left us unable
to inform you since June 23rd.
In these same days, we've
been on the ground reporting from two hot spots: Bolivia and
Venezuela. The América of authentic democracy and dignity
opened up this season with historic advances against the US-imposed
"war on drugs" and the meddling by Washington and Wall
Street in the sovereign affairs of nations.
There is progress in many
corners of our hemisphere, but most markedly in Bolivia and Venezuela.
Our first reports this week will bring you up to date on these
events that open the 21st Century with a Bolivarian bang.
In late June, the elected
government of Venezuela
- together with Civil Society and the majority of the people
- overcame a second attempt by a wealthy minority, its corrupted
news media and its backing by foreign powers to instigate a coup
But a funny thing happened
on the way to the Civil War: The convocatory power of the commercial
media simulators collapsed -- better said, it was taken away
-- in a large part due to the Authentic Journalism Renaissance
underway throughout Venezuela by independent, non-commercial
and small TV and radio stations.
These community broadcasters,
considered "pirate" and illegal in every other country
on earth, were legalized and guaranteed Press Freedom rights
by the Bolivarian Constitution of 1999.
This entire nation of
24 million citizens has now become a giant laboratory of participatory
Authentic Journalism. Venezuelans have invented a new way to
fight the tyranny of a corrupt commercial media and neutralize
its former power to control the conversation. There, from the
popular barrios, I spoke with hundreds of members of the Venezuelan
public and interviewed the New Journalists - mostly, but not
at all exclusively, young people - now teaching the world how
to grab back the microphone.
In the coming days and
weeks, as part of Immedia Summer, we will bring you the Bolivarian
Revolution directly from the words of its participants from a
land where it seems as if every citizen, except for the commercial
media caste, is to one degree or another an authentic journalist.
We have documented this immediate history, and will be reporting
it to you.
D.R. 2002 by Al Giordano
In this photo, Chávez
Takes the people's calls
at a five-hour live national broadcast on Sunday, June 23rd,
from the studios of TV Catia Libre from the top floor of a hospital
in one of Caracas' most popular neighborhoods. On this day, forty
volunteers from the nation's community TV and radio stations,
its independent community press and popular internet news sites,
joined the president during this national teach-in on the subject
of media and democracy.
"Can you imagine a popular
leader (and coca grower) in power?" asked our Andean Bureau Chief Luis Gómez
this past week as the votes were being tallied, still, from the
June 30th national elections in Bolivia.
Imagine, you can, kind
For the past two years,
Narco News has translated and reported the uncensored
words of Bolivian Congressman turned expelled Congressman turned
presidential candidate turned, now, into one of two finalists
for the Bolivian presidency, Evo Morales, together with the citizens'
movements, including but not limited the coca farmers, now occupying
a major bloc in the national congress.
August 6th will be D-Day
- Democracy Day - for Bolivia. And the same US Embassy that threatened
the Bolivian people prior to the election that a vote for Evo
would be a vote to end U.S. aid is now scrambling to stop the
sunlight during these pre-dawn hours of authentic democracy in
Gómez - the only
international correspondent to suggest, four months prior to
the elections, that the popular movements had a chance to take
power this year - has chronicled the Bolivian presidential campaign
from start to finish. He remains on the scene with a front row
seat as history takes the witness stand. In his final campaign
stop, presidential finalist Morales pledged, if elected, to expell
the US Drug Enforcement Administration from Bolivia.
D.R. 2001 by Al Giordano
For the drug warriors,
imposing their policies
and demanding their illicit profits from Washington and Wall
Street, América's dream of authentic democracy - a land
where peoples and nations make our own decisions for ourselves
- has become power's nightmare. The aftershocks of this one-two
punch - Democracy restored in Venezuela and Democracy born in
Bolivia - are quaking louder from Perú to Colombia to
Ecuador to Mexico and into the Europe and the United States.
Próxima Estación - next stop! - Brazil, where in
the jungle the lion of Bolívar's América has slept,
but may awaken in the upcoming national presidential election
in October: the World Cup referendum on imposed U.S. economic
and drug policies.
Everybody speaks of "democracy."
But talk is cheap. The words, somewhere, in fact all over the
place, in a country called América are now converting
into action. The history and the reality of the new century are
At Narco News,
ever since our Opening
Statement on April
18, 2000, we have daily brought you the wind from below in the
form of facts - unreported by the commercial media - that now
push history forward. Today, in the Summer of 2002, no longer
can anyone deny its gale force. Stay tuned for detailed reports
from Venezuela and Bolivia by your correspondents.
After experiencing temporary
technical difficulties for the past sixteen days, our problems
were solved by you, the readers.
Narco News is back, and so is our friend
For More Narco
by the People