Saturday, 5 June 2010

Patrick J. O'Donoghue: Venezuela needs to explain brief of new Center for Situational Study (Cesna)

Published: Friday, June 04, 2010Bylined to: Patrick J. O'Donoghue
Venezuela needs to explain brief of new Center for Situational Study (Cesna)
VHeadline News Editor Patrick J. O'Donoghue reports: ABC digital and Radio Netherlands report that the Venezuelan government has created a situational center specifically to "collect, compile, collate and analyze information of national interest which could be declared classified."

The new body is called the Center for Situational Studies of the Nation (Cesna) and will be affiliated to the Interior & Justice (MIJ) Ministry.

The setting up of Cesna was announced in the Gaceta Oficial on Wednesday but there has been no mention of it in pro-government media.

It is presumed that Cesna will interact with the National Intelligence Service (Sebin), formerly the dreaded DISIP. Most ministries and public services have a media department or press team, which collects news cuttings related to their own office. Miraflores Palace has a similar department that collects and collates media cuttings which are passed on the President for his briefings.

The new organ is believed to have been created to beef up state and national security. A more sinister element comes to light and requires explanation in the following sentence that: Cesna "could declare of reserved, classified character or for limited release any information, event or circumstance, which it becomes aware of in the exercise of its duties."

President Chavez is expected to elaborate on the precise functions of the new intelligence organ during his Sunday radio address and release the name of the person or persons who will run Cesna.

According to the Dutch report, Control Ciudadano NGO director, Rocio San Miguel is leading opposition to the decree, alleging that it will limit access to public information and is a direct attack on freedom of expression. She slams presidential decree No.7.454 creating Cesna as unconstitutional.

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