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Tranquility and Justice in Caracas

Of course the big story around the continent has been Hugo Chávez's reelection in Venezuela with about 60% of the popular vote.

Writes “La Maga,” a journalist from Caracas:

el día después

hay poca gente en el metro. muchos se tomaron el día libre hoy tras una noche de celebración o de luto. la ciudad está tranquila, no puedo decir si triste y alegre, tranquila, con esa tranquilidad del día después, con esa calma de primero de enero. los niños no tienen clases. caracas está sucia, eso sí, (aunque siempre está sucia), hay restos de cohetones y de propaganda electoral rota, pero está tranquila, sin alboroto. menos mal.
anoche no vi los resultados. tenía demasiado sueño y me quedé dormida sin querer.
ayer trabajé en vano. hoy vi que en la segunda edición por un error técnico no salió lo que escribí -ni lo que escribieron otras compañeras- en el periódico. pido disculpas al elector al que molesté todo el día.
ojalá haya luz en la ruta que viene en 2007. ojalá haya entendimiento y camino. y ojalá por fin haya gobierno que no necesite estar haciéndose propaganda todo el tiempo y haya una oposición que se oponga con estilo y credibilidad. ojalá organicemos un país.

The Day After

There are few people in the metro. Many took the day off after a night of celebration, or of mourning. The city is calm. I can't say if it's sad or happy, just calm, with that tranquility of the day after, with the calmness of the first of January. Kids don't have classes. Caracas is dirty, that is true (although it is always dirty), there are firework scraps and damaged electoral propaganda, but it's calm, without uproar. A good thing.

Last night I didn't see the results. I was very tired and accidentally fell asleep.

Yesterday I worked in vain. Today I saw that in the second edition, because of a technical error, what I wrote didn't get printed – nor did what my colleagues write get in the newspaper. I apologize to the electoral official who I bothered all day. Hopefully there is light in the route to come in 2007. Hopefully there is understanding and a path. And hopefully, finally, the government won't need to be making so much propaganda all the time and an opposition will oppose it with style and credibility. Hopefully we will organize a country.

Another Venezuelan story of interest to bloggers emerged over the weekend, but was quickly overshadowed by the avalanche of citizen media covering Sunday's election. We have already mentioned the plagiarism by journalist Nestor Valecillos of a blog post written by Guillermo Amador. Last Friday, Amador finally received a response from the paper.

Hace unos minutos recibí un mensaje de Carlos Romero, Director de El Diario de Caracas. Ya el dia de ayer había recibido una comunicación suya, en donde me planteaba que estaban estudiando la sanción a ser aplicada a Nestor Valecillos por su plagio a mi propiedad intelectual. Yo insistí en que de Valecillos solo esperaba una disculpa y del Diario de Caracas una réplica en iguales condiciones que las del artículo original, en cantidad de caracteres y en ubicación dentro del diario.

En este nuevo email, me hace saber que El Diario de Caracas decidió separarlo de su plantilla a partir del dia de hoy, 1ro de diciembre de 2006. De igual manera, me concedieron mi derecho a réplica y debo consignar un artículo de 3800 caracteres que será publicado en un sitio preferencial del diario. Con una simple disculpa a tiempo de Valecillos era suficiente y se que nunca fue la intención de la comunidad bloguera venezolana propiciar su despido, personalmente solicité se me concediera el derecho a réplica y una disculpa tan pública como el artículo plagiado.

A few minutes ago, I received a message from Carlos Romero, Director of El Diario de Caracas. I had already received a note from him yesterday in which I was made aware that they were studying the sanction to be applied to Nestor Valecillos for his plagiarism of my intellectual property. I insisted that I only awaited an apology from Valecillos and a published response from El Diario de Caracas with an equal amount of characters and placing as the original article.

This new email let me know that El Diario de Caracas decided to let Valecillos go starting today, the first of December. Also, they conceded my right to a response and I should allocate an article of 3,800 characters that will be published in a preferential site of the paper. A simple and timely apology from Valecillos would have been sufficient and I know that it was never the intention of the Venezuelan blogging community to favor his firing. Personally, I asked that they concede me the right to respond and an apology as public as the plagiarized article.

De cualquier manera, se que tomar esta decisión, reconociendo una vez mas la falta cometida, asi como conceder la réplica no es algo fácil de hacer. Denota sentido de la responsabilidad o al menos verguenza cuando se comete una falta. Demuestra que les duele lo que se hace o deshace con la publicación donde se trabaja y eso es importante. En estos tiempos que corren, muy importante. De hecho, no recuerdo algún otro momento en donde una publicación se haga responsable de una acción como este y ademas tome medidas. A ellos, gracias.

A mis compañeros de la criollosfera venezolana, muchas gracias. A pesar de que nunca pedí que llenaran los e-mails de El Diario de Caracas de reclamos, ahora les pido que si les escriben, sea para agradecer la actitud tomada. Su compromiso de publicar la réplica en cuestión es suficiente y en un rato comienzo a redactarla.
Insisto, es impresionante la solidaridad que demuestra esta comunidad, que sin dudarlo ni un minuto se torna compacta para ayudar a uno de sus miembros. Asi hemos ayudado a varios de nuestros compañeros a sobrellevar los embates de enfermedades tan serias como el cáncer, asi ayudamos a una niña a curarse de leucemia (http://www.caracascafe.net/modulor/?p=35).

No se puede simplemente copiar y pegar la propiedad intelectual y no dar crédito por ello. Es un delito en cualquier parte del mundo, aqui también.

No matter what, I know that taking this decision – recognizing the mistake committed by conceding the response is not something easy to do. It denotes a sense of the responsibility or at least shame when committing a mistake. It shows that what is done or not done with the publication where they work pains them and this is important. In fact, I don't remember any other moment in which a publication has made itself responsible for an action like that and has taken measures. To them, thank you.

To my colleagues of the Venezuelan blogosphere, thank you very much. Despite the fact that I never asked you to fill the email inboxes of El Diario de Caracas, I now ask you that if you write them, do so to thank the attitude they've taken. Their commitment to publish the response in question is sufficient and in a bit I'll start to compile it. I insist, the solidarity our community shows is impressive. Without a minute of doubt we come together to help one of its members. That is how we helped various of our friends to overcome the attack of diseases as serious as cancer; that is how we helped a young girl overcome leukemia.

Intellectual property can simply not be copied and pasted without giving credit. It's a crime in any part of the world; here too.

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