North Carolina Newspapers

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10 The Tar Heel Thursday. August 4, 1977
Venezuela:
By DOUG KINCAID
CONTRIBUTOR
If the Carter administration's focus on human rights has
won it few friends among military juntas, it has led to a new
friendship with Venezuela. Until recently regarded with some
st of the liberal democracies
News analysis
hostility in Washington as an OPEC troublemaker,
Venezuela is now embraced as one of the few survivors of a
nearly extinct species the liberal democracy in the Third
World.
Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez has publicly
welcomed the improvement in relations with the United
States. He has not, however, lessened Venezuela's support of
Third World causes, as was clear during his recent U.S. tour.
Speaking to the National Press Club in Washington on
June 29, Perez emphasized his country's advocacy of a new
international order free from the present disparities between
rich and poor. One area of particular importance, he noted,
was the exchange of news and information.
"In Venezuela, Perez said, "in all of Latin America, and
furtrier, in the Third World, there is a unanimous conviction
that our nations are mistreated and discriminated against by
the great means ' of communications, national and
transnational, of the industrialized countries. An active and
. conscious complicity is attributed to the manipulation of
information related to the exploitation of our national
resources and of the labor of our peoples. Similarly, the
media is chided as indifferent insofar as it does not take us
into account except as producers of basic materials to satisfy
the needs of the wellbeing or the squandering of
industrialized nations."
Perez specifically criticized U.S. news coverage of Latin
America as inadequate. He attributed this fault to
"ignorance, distance and lack of interest in . . . mutual
affairs." -
"For all these reasons," he concluded, "we share a desire to
create news organizations of the Third World and of Latin
America, which may share in the right to inform along with
the agencies of the industrialized countries. But, to do it, it is
necessary that sufficient space for the information
interchange be guaranteed through government treaties."
Ironically, the reports of Perez speech in U.S. newspapers
the following day largely ignored this topic. Instead, they
focused on his reassurances concerning oil prices and his
support for the Carter policy on human rights.
The Venezuelan president is far from alone in his criticism
of the Western news media. Third 'World leaders have
become increasingly resentful of the virtual monopoly over
international news flow exercised by the largest agencies.
They regard this situation as a vestige of colonialism and
seem determined to eliminate it.
Two fundamental concerns have been repeatedly voiced.
One is that the Western news media present distorted images
of the realities of developing countries. The other is that the
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