03/18/2013 09:38 am ET

Free Speech Under Fire In Latin America

Hugo Chavez may be dead, but the offensive he led against democratic institutions in Venezuela and across Latin America has not slackened. In fact, it may be accelerating, especially with regard to independent media.

Last week the beleaguered owner of the last Venezuelan television station not subservient to the government announced that he was selling his shares to a businessman close to the ruling party. Guillermo Zuloaga, the majority owner of the Globovision network, was forced into exile in the United States in 2010 by the Chavez regime; now his network faces financial ruin because of repeated, multimillion-dollar fines levied on its news coverage. “We are in a completely polarized country on the opposite end of an all-powerful government that wants to see us fail,” Mr. Zuloaga explained.

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