Telesur is a new continental television station whose self-proclaimed goal is to recover Latin American history and break with the large media corporations.
“For more than 500 years, we have been blind to ourselves. We always look at things with the eyes of the North,” stated Aram Aharanoriam, general director of Telesur, during the inauguration of the channel on July 24.
The date was chosen on purpose. Simon Bolivar, the liberator and independence hero of a number of Latin American countries was born on this same date in 1783.
Telesur initiated experimental transmissions on July 24 with the support of the governments of Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, and Cuba.
The programs will deal with struggles for social transformation, the democratization of communication, and the integration of Latin America.
Transmitting by satellite NSS 806, the station according to its management team will open up space for popular/social movements, emphasizing Latin culture, and information that is not manipulated by neo-liberal interests of the large oligarchic networks of communication.
The new station intends to base its information and focus on the Latin American perspective. According to President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, “the challenge of Telesur is to enter in harmony with the soul and mind of the people and to seek the truth.”
Thus, the content of the programs fundamentally depends on the participation of a network of collaborators, such as independent producers and community TVs, considered to be the pillars of the new channel.
“If the idea is for us to know and value ourselves, it would be arbitrary to anticipate what we will transmit. That will depend on what the people want,” states Gabriela Fuentes, the director of the program.
All of the content will be bilingual. There will be captions or translations in Portuguese as well as Spanish.
Discussions are being held with cable station operators in many countries as well as with television channels of local communities, universities, educators, and the public in order to expand even more this television station.
An investment of about US$ 400,000 includes the installation of equipment with a digital receptor and parabolic antenna to tune into the wave length of the satellite. A number of community TVs in Brazil have already installed the receptor and are transmitting the station.
The US reaction to this TV station was immediate in the United States House of Representatives, which approved an amendment that permits the initiation of radio and television transmissions coming from the U.S. to Venezuelans.
Congress justified the decision as necessary in order to counteract the supposed wave of “anti-Americanism” of Telesur. Airplanes from the U.S. already invade the electromagnetic space of TV transmitters in Cuba with anti-Castro propaganda.
The station’s program, Telesurgentes, provides space to show the struggles of the landless in Brazil, the indigenous in Bolivia, and mothers seeking justice in Argentina. For now, Telesur will transmit four hours daily of unedited programs that can be rerun throughout the day. Plans are to increase the transmissions up to 8 hours by September
This article appeared originally in Brazil de Fato.