Telesur in the news. "On July 25, 2005, Chavez inaugurated TeleSUR, a proposed pan-American homologue of Al Jazeera that seeks to challenge the present domination of Latin American television news by Univision and the United States-based CNN en Español. Chavez's media policies have contributed to elevated tensions between the United States and Venezuela." Pravda.ru, 13 May 2008. "Chavez is ... trying hard to enable Latin American countries to co-operate and stand together to make them strong enough to free themselves from US economic and political control. ... That is why Chavez led the creation of Telesur, a Latin American TV station based in various South American countries." Keith Flett, letter to The Independent, 11 May 2008. Posted: 13 May 2008 Permalink
Proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, TELESUR is intended to be a counterweight to popular privately-run networks in South America like CNN en Español and Univisión. It is also intended as a spur toward Latin American integration. The network is funded by the countries that jointly own the network: Venezuela (a 51 percent share), Argentina (20 percent), Cuba (19 percent), and Uruguay (10 percent), with the prospect of other countries joining later. (On April 6, 2006 Bolivia's President Evo Morales agreed to buy a 5% stake in TELESUR.) These countries, as well as Brazil (which is working on its own international Portuguese station, TV Brasil) will collaborate on content and technology.
TELESUR's advisory council is formed by many international and regional intellectuals, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, poet Ernesto Cardenal, writers Eduardo Galeano, Tariq Ali and Saul Landau, editor-in-chief of Le Monde diplomatique and historian Ignacio Ramonet, free software pioneer Richard Stallman, and actor Danny Glover. TELESUR's current president is Andrés Izarra, who briefly served as Minister of Communication and Information (MCI) in Venezuela's government. Izarra is also a veteran journalist and has worked for NBC's defunct Canal de Noticias NBC based at the NBC Newschannel Headquaters in Charlotte, North Carolina. He then moved on to CNN en Espanol and Radio Caracas Television, a private Venezuelan network.