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Time Magazine & Irresponsible Journalism

Toby Westerman

Time magazine did an injustice to the American public with its publication of an interview with Hugo Chavez, the Marxist president of Venezuela. The interview and an accompanying background article appear in Time magazine's October 2, 2006 issue.

The importance of Chavez lies in his nation's vast oil reserves and in his willingness to use that wealth to undermine the United States and its allies. Since coming to power in 1999, Chavez has forged alliances with the most anti-American nations on earth, assisted terrorists and terror-supporting nations, and has fostered his own vision of a socialist utopia in Latin America, a region once referred to as "America's backyard."

Chavez Addressing the UN Assembly

Chavez insults the U.S. at the UN Assembly, September 20, 2006 - Time, October 2, 2006
Chavez considers Fidel Castro of Cuba his mentor, and can count upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide assistance to Venezuela's nuclear power ambitions. China has assisted in the construction of the Telesur satellite system which functions as Chavez's propaganda machine, broadcasting to Latin America everyday, all day.

Income from his nation's oil reserves had enabled Chavez to purchase jet fighters, armed helicopters, warships, and sophisticated small arms from various nations, especially Russia. The vast amount of arms Chavez has purchased has led some U.S. military and civilian officials to question if the weapons are for Venezuelan use.

Chavez sees himself as the "liberator" of Latin America from American "imperialism," in imitation of Simon Bolivar, the 19th century leader who freed the region from Spanish colonial rule. Chavez has even changed the name of his nation to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Those in Latin America resisting the expansion of Chavez and his revolution have accused him of attempting to intervene in elections from Mexico to Brazil.

Chavez's domestic opposition accuses him of rigging elections at home, insuring the election of himself and his allies, using the brutal tactics of threats, intimidation, beatings, as well as manipulating the voting machines.

Little of this appears or is analyzed in the Time magazine article and interview. Chavez's assertions are never challenged, and he is described as merely a "leftist," yet he admires communist heroes from Karl Marx to Fidel Castro, habitually wears red berets and T-shirts, and speaks under banners with the image of the fallen Marxist revolutionary idol, Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

The analysis-lite approach to Chavez by Time magazine recalls a similar treatment of Fidel Castro by The New York Times just after the 1959 revolution. The New York Times refused to take seriously reports that Castro was leading Cuba into the communist bloc, and relied upon the dispatches from Herbert L. Matthews, its veteran correspondent, who could see no socialist leanings in Castro or his revolution. Twenty years earlier, Matthews similarly saw no atrocities committed by forces loyal to the pro-Soviet Spanish Republic during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War.

Che Guevara depicted as Our Lord

A poster depicting Jesus Christ as a Che Guevara-style revolutionary
Time magazine's interview with Chavez was bland and superficial, with one slight exception: Chavez's declaration that Jesus was a socialist. "If you look at things through the eyes of Jesus Christ - who I think was the first socialist - only Socialism can really create a genuine society."

The Jesus-as-socialist assertion is not new, it has been around at least as long as "liberation theology." Chavez's invocation of what may be called "comrade Jesus" is merely an attempt to lend support to an increasingly authoritarian regime whose real heroes carry automatic rifles and bombs, not the Cross.

In the article preceding the interview, the term "leftist" is used to describe Chavez or one of his comrades. Chavez is described as believing his destiny is to be the "leftist David" to the Goliath of U.S. president George W. Bush. Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, is also described as a "leftist." The article uses the term "New Deal," a generally inoffensive term to most Americans, to describe Chavez's socialist restructuring of his nation along Cuban-Marxist lines.

While Time magazine has difficulty grasping the reality of the growing power of Marxist politics in Latin America, others do not. Any confusion on the part of Time should be settled by an acknowledged expert in Marxist politics, Aleida Guevara, M.D., eldest daughter of Che Guevara, and a true believer in her father's revolutionary goals.

Dr. Aleida Guevara is a pediatrician at a childrens' hospital in Havana, Cuba, and a well-traveled spokeswoman for "the revolution." During a recent trip to Bolivia, she stated that her father "would certainly be happy with the changes" in Bolivia under Evo Morales, according to a report from Radio Havana Cuba, the official broadcasting service of the communist regime.

Che's daughter sees the advance of "the revolution," Cuban radio sees it, when will Time choose to report it?


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Posted October 18, 2006

Toby Westerman publishes
International News Analysis - Today
An investigative and uncompromising weekly analysis of the world situation

Contact T. Westerman at
or P.O. BOX 5182, Rockford, ILL, 61125-0182

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