Just a month after one of its news anchors quit on air to protest censorship at the channel, Venezuela´s Globovision has lost another popular host.
This time it was 32-year-old Shirley Varnagy, who left the channel after it refused to broadcast a 10-minute segment of an interview that she conducted with renown Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa.
Varnagy had been hosting talk shows on Globovision for the past three years, but decided to quit on Wednesday, arguing that she would not be “silenced” on her spaces in the channel:
Varnagy hosted a primetime talk show in which she interviewed politicians, artists and writers like Vargas Llosa.
The nobel laureate, who is a well-known critic of Venezuela´s socialist government, talked about his distaste for dictatorships in his interview with Varnagy, and said that Venezuela´s leadership had taken a “path that goes against modernity, that seeks to materialize a collectivist, radical, socialist utopia that has failed everywhere else.”
Those comments were made during the first two segments of the interview and were actually broadcast by Globovision.
But the news channel did not broadcast the third segment of the interview, in which Vargas Llosa gave his views on Hugo Chavez´s legacy.
“How would you evaluate President Chavez´s administration?” Varnagy asks at the beginning of segment three.
“I think Chavez is part of the Latin American tradition of strongmen. He was a leader who profoundly believed in socialist utopias in a time when those ideas were starting to fall apart all over the world,” Vargas Llosa said in the segment that was not aired.
Here´s the rest of segment three, which Varnagy posted on her personal site:
Until the beginning of 2013, Globovision was the only TV channel in Venezuela that was openly critical of the country´s government. It was also supportive of Venezuela´s opposition, providing live coverage of opposition rallies and press conferences.
But Globovision´s editorial line has changed significantly, since economic problems and fines imposed by Venezuela´s telecommunications regulator forced its original owner, Guillermo Zuluoaga, to sell the channel to a group of businessmen with ties to the Venezuelan government.
For starters, the channel no longer airs opposition rallies. Its coverage of the student protests that have spread through Venezuela since February has been limited mostly to statements on the protests made by government officials.
Many of Globovision´s journalists now seem to be at odds with the channel´s management. According to Venezuelan news site Ultimas Noticias, more than 50 Globovision staff have quit the channel or have been forced to resign since the channel changed owners last year.
Globovision´s new management argues that the channel is merely trying to seek a balanced news approach in which government and opposition views are equally aired.
The TV channel still hasn´t made any comments on Varnagy´s resignation.
But Globovision did post the complete version of Varnagy´s interview with Vargas Llosa on its website, including the segment that was not aired.
In its online write up of the interview, however, Globovision does not make any reference to Vargas Llosa´s criticisms of the Venezuelan government.
Manuel Rueda is a correspondent for Fusion, covering Mexico and South America. He travels from donkey festivals, to salsa clubs to steamy places with cartel activity.