A brief announcement datelined Caracas April 18 that Venezuela and China had signed an agreement on program exchange and training of each others'television and radio broadcasters is more than meets the Western eye.
In both countries broadcasting within their own borders and beyond is already a mature industry. I wonder what the "training" is in, therefore?
For its part, the deal obliges Venezuela to broadcast two channels of Central China Television and to have access to China Radio International's various language programs.
It is a deal that could give China a substantial leg up in getting its socialist propaganda messages across both in Venezuela and via Venezuela's satellite news channel beamed to South America.
Both countries are left leaning and have squabbles with the United States over political and human rights, and, as a Chinese official said while in Caracas: "radio, TV and cinema are the easy way to get across messages".
Finally, China is actively wooing Venezuela which has possibly the largest reserves of oil to be exploited.