Media Center

Press Release


  July 2, 2003

NANTUCKET, Massachusetts -- The members of the Boston Group, a U.S.-Venezuela inter-parliamentary forum, agreed today to promote a broad, open dialogue in Venezuela on the draft Social Responsibility Law for Radio and Television, in which media owners, journalists and representatives of civil society would be invited to participate.

This was one of the points of consensus reached during three days of intense debates in which members of Venezuela's National Assembly affiliated with both government and opposition parties, along with several members of the U.S. Congress, discussed the need to strengthen the relationship between legislative bodies and the media.

Rep. Cass Ballenger (Republican-North Carolina), who chairs the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced his commitment to find private funds to create a television channel in the Venezuelan National Assembly, similar to C-SPAN in the United States, to broadcast legislative debates.

"You'll be surprised at how many fewer fights you'll have in Congress if you know the country is watching," he told the group.

Venezuelan Congressman Nicolás Maduro of the government party, Movimiento V Republica,, said he would take care of finding the television frequency necessary to make the project a reality.

Before debating the issue of the media, the Boston Group had discussed the problem of poverty in Venezuela and defined some concrete steps that the National Assembly could take in the short, medium and long term to help overcome this scourge.

This forum was created last year to forge a stronger relationship between the Congresses of Venezuela and the United States and receives support from the Organization of American States (OAS).

Reference: e-126/03