Argentina: Milei Cancels teleSUR in Wave of Censorship against Left-wing Voices

By Alejandra Garcia on May 7, 2024 from Havana

Milei and his campaign to stamp out the truth.

Last Sunday, the Argentine government of Javier Milei decided to eliminate the teleSUR communication signal from the media grid, offered through Digital Terrestrial Television,. The move by the right wing neo liberal president clearly represents a serious attack on the freedom of the press and the right to information. According to a press release, as of July 1st, the multi platform -which has been giving voice to the vulnerable peoples of the south for 18 years – will no longer be broadcasted by the state-owned platform Argentina TDA.

“Media censorship is taking over Argentina,” said Colombian journalist and president of teleSUR, Patricia Villegas. This attitude has precedence when a similar decision was taken by the Macri regime in 2016, that not only withdrew Telesur from TDA but also ceded the 14% shareholding package that Argentina then held in the Venezuelan-based multi communication platform.

Recently, journalists and press workers took to the streets of Buenos Aires following the closure of the popular state-owned news agency Télam, which has more than 700 employees and has been in existence for over 80 years publishing of federal and pluralistic information. “We are going to close it because it has been used in the last decades as a Kirchnerist propaganda agency,” said Milei in March. Today out of the fear of spreading true and interesting news and analysis he did it again

“This is a new move by the same government that cuts pensions, limits access to dissident voices, restricts informational plurality, and undermines the possibility of holding informed opinions; in a scenario where diversity of views and the free circulation of ideas are fundamental for the functioning of a democratic society,” Villegas said in a statement.

Reactions have not stopped since the news broke on Sunday. President Nicolas Maduro said during his program “Maduro+”, “Milei is afraid, he is afraid of Telesur. Telesur will be seen by the people through all social networks. You will not be able to censor Telesur, it will be stronger than you. You can be sure of that. You are afraid, Milei, of the truth of the people”.

The Argentine political scientist Atilio Boron also expressed in his account in the social network X that the principles of freedom that Argentina’s head of state holds “is a farce. He does not admit to freedom of the press” and described Milei as an “enlightened despot”. Meanwhile, the Argentine sociologist Lautaro Rivara also stressed that this is a “very serious” incident. Something similar happened during the government of Mauricio Macri, but they could not and will not be able to silence teleSUR.”

Likewise, the Spanish sociologist Aníbal Garzón indicated that the Argentine government’s decision is another example of what “democracies” do. “And nothing surprises us. The European powers have also tried to silence the Russia Today channel, the United States has tried to silence Press TV, and Israel has tried to do so the other day with Al Jazeera as they got ready to attack Rafah”

Meanwhile, Resumen Latinoamericano, Chief editor in Buenos Aires, Carlos Aznárez, issued a statement repudiating Milei’s government decision. “For President Javier Milei and the corporations that support him, teleSUR is undoubtedly a danger, since it informs the truth and raises awareness in the broad sectors of the population where the channel reaches with its contents. Hence, within the framework of the onslaught that this Government carries out daily against the popular sectors, censorship is a tool that is not only exercised internally but also seeks to close the door to our American media that are part of the liberating ideology that sooner or later will be imposed in the continent”.

Nothing will stop the Latin American left wing. “While they dedicate themselves to destroying everything around them, teleSUR will continue to build this signal that unites us, because it allows us to recognize each other from Tierra del Fuego to Mexico. And we will be much more, we will become the signal of the global SUR,” Patricia Villegas concluded.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English