Keane Bhatt asks Human Rights Watch to correct Venezuela Error

Email below was sent by Keane Bhatt on April 15, 2014  to Daniel Wilkinson, Miguel Vivanco and Ken Roth  – all are Human Rights Watch officials.

Email addresses:



The NYRB editor’s email is rsilvers@nybooks.com

Dear Mr. Wilkinson,

I have yet to hear from you regarding the false statement I highlighted in your April 9 article on Venezuela for the New York Review of Books. You incorrectly claimed that “two of the four private stations voluntarily dropped their critical coverage,” referring, of course, to Venevisión and Televen. This issue is crucial to clarify for readers, especially because the website’s sidebar currently refers to your piece as “Censorship in Caracas,” and because it appears that NYRB’s moderator has prevented attempts by readers to point out your error from being posted in the comments section.

Given that a number of days have passed without a correction thus far, I’m including for your convenience hyperlinks to five recent examples of each station’s dedication of substantial airtime to government critics.

I’m confident that this decidedly non-exhaustive list will serve as a clear refutation of the notion that the two stations “dropped their critical coverage,” and I hope that it will be sufficient to expedite a retraction of the incorrect statement. Continued inaction on a clear-cut error would only seem to confirm the validity of longstanding complaints over the ideological nature of HRW’s positions on Venezuela.

If the rest of your article succeeds in demonstrating that the Venezuelan government seeks to “control how the news gets reported on Venezuelan TV,” there should be no reason for leaving intact a demonstrable falsehood, days after it has been brought to your attention and debunked. Thanks in advance for your prompt consideration of my request for a correction; I look forward to hearing from you.



Interview with Lilian Tintori, wife of protest leader Leopoldo López, on February 25:

Interview with mayor Gustavo Marcano, assistant national coordinator of opposition party Primero Justicia, on March 19:

Interview with Julio Borges, national coordinator of Primero Justicia, on March 20:

Interview with Mesa de la Unidad Democrática legislator Alfonso Marquina on April 4:

Interview with MUD legislator Ángel Medina on April 8:


Interview with Lilian Tintori on February 27:

Interview with five student opposition leaders, including Juan Requesens, on March 3:

Interview with opposition mayor Ramón Muchacho on March 7:

Interview with María Corina Machado on March 31:

Interview with opposition mayor Antonio Ledezma on April 15:

1 comment

  1. Joe Marcin April 26, 2014 12:37 am 

    In whose interest does human rights watch speak?

    Need to see who is donating? If they have initials like
    NED or USAID, Help us understand the reasons. for The. Trash

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