Photo via globovision

The government announced over the weekend it has started the legal proceedings to give up its shares in Telesur, the Venezuela-based media company founded in 2005 by late President Hugo Chávez generally regarded as a left-leaning platform.

Public Media Department head Hernán Lombardi and Public Communication Secretary Jorge Grecco told La Nación that after several weeks of judicial analysis, they “agreed to initiate the corresponding procedure to end the Argentine State’s participation in Telesur and notified the decision to Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra.” He added that, “This goes in line with the task we took upon ourselves for public media in terms of plurality and austerity.”

He also told Vorterix radio that, “Argentina was a partner prohibited from sharing our view. It’s an interesting South American television project, but there was no pluralism at Telesur.”

Basically, the network, which is directly controlled by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, represents the Venezuelan government’s political ideology, which essentially opposes Macri’s.

hernan lombardi diariocol

A good example of this is last year, before the presidential runoff, Telesur published a profile on then candidate Macri describing him as a “representative of the conservative Argentine right and an advocate of neo-liberal policies [which in Latin American politics basically means that you want to sell the country to the capitalist empires.]”

“The PRO candidate advocates neo-liberal policies such as reducing public spending and the State’s role in the economy, and the end of wealth re-distribution policies,” says the article, which labeled the electoral run as a fight between “social justice vs. neo liberalism.”

It’s unknown how much the Argentine State spent to help set up this media company that broadcasts to America, Asia and Europe and relies completely on public resources to exist, but during the last two years, the State only allocated money to keep the Argentine correspondents’ offices functioning.

Besides cutting funds, this decision from the Argentine government means cable operating companies in the country will no longer have to include the network in their programming, something that had been imposed by the no longer existing AFSCA media watchdog on September 9, 2010. The Televisión Digital Abierta (TDA) TV system, which reaches 80 percent of the Argentine population, will also stop broadcasting Telesur.

Shortly after it surfaced, the company echoed the news and said it’s “studying a formal answer once it confirms Minister Lombardi’s statements with the officials quoted by La Nación outlet.

“Our media company does not replicate without due confirmation,” ends the statement. But after what Lombardi said, it seems they will have to.