“Chavismo TV”: the government of Nicolás Maduro and the hegemony of the insult against the opposition on public television

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In such an unpredictable country, one of the few certainties that Venezuelans have is that, when looking for a state channel, they will find the government attacking opponents or praising the “state party.”

In a country as unpredictable as Venezuela, one of the few certainties citizens have is that, when looking for a public television channel, they will meet chavismo. It can be a complete electoral act, its leaders reviling journalists and opponents or a presenter full of praise for the Government.

If on any given day it is striking, in the middle of an electoral campaign of legislative elections with little competition, the image jumps ostensibly. If the government party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), presents its candidates for three hours, the entire act is broadcast, if the head of his campaign wants to appear, he does so at prime time.

It has been so striking that even the National Electoral Council (CNE) has timidly raised his voice through its president, Indira Alfonzo, a woman linked to Chavismo, sanctioned by Canada for her lack of impartiality in the 2018 elections and elected to her position by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and not by the majority Parliament opposition, as dictated by law.

“That the regulations are respected, that we have the greatest participation in terms of equity and respect for pluralism and diversity (…) All the members of this CNE must express, not only to the public media, but also to the private ones to, together, build a policy communication that guarantees the greatest participation, “said Alfonzo.

On this occasion, the claim was directed the Venezuelan President of Television (VTV), Freddy Ñañez, also Minister of Communications to replace Jorge Rodríguez, who left office to run as a candidate for the legislative elections.

“At the beginning of this Chavista era, between 1999 and 2005, the Government of (Hugo) Chávez said that a communicational hegemony was necessary and they began to work on that, “the journalist and political communication consultant Laura Castellanos, a professional in the sector with a long career in the media, explains to Efe.

To achieve this, he explains, he has resorted to legislation, as in the case of the so-called Spring Law which, among other things, obliges the channels to transmit the messages and speeches that the Government deems necessary, or “the purchase through frontmen of the media, censorship and self-censorship”.

The result, in the opinion of Castellanos, is that today in Venezuela, Chavismo “has operational hegemony” and “an immense apparatus through the judiciary, the economic and political power” of the supporters of the Bolivarian revolution.

However, the journalist has warned that these media they are becoming “empty shells, without content or continent because they don’t have any kind of creative strategy to make people fall in love “.

“We have a shell that works very well where you are bombarded 24×24 with information from the Government but that is not yielding results,” he emphasizes.

Of course, no one appears on the screens of the public media system, whose opinion no longer criticizes, but minimally calls into question any member or supporter of Chavismo. The only thing that has space in the stations is the compliment to the red mono color of the PSUV that permeates everything.

So much devotion has turned the presenters of the spaces that were previously informative into mere transmission belts of Chavista messages, always after praising, criticizing the opposition, which on occasions do not hesitate to call “stateless”, and even to the work of other national and international media.

The opposition, with the exception of a tiny minority with hardly any engagement in society, does not have a hole unless it is for caricature, figurative or literal.

For a few months, they have even projected, almost in a loop, caricatures of some opposition leaders accompanied by dark music, a strategy that seems unhelpful except to keep the followers of Chavismo faithful.

On Wednesdays, those who are interested in learning about philias and phobias within Chavismo should connect VTV and listen to Diosdado Cabello, the vice president of the PSUV, who has his program, “With the mallet giving”, in prime time.

From that privileged platform distributes insults, criticism and some threat to whom it considers opportune, be it a political rival or a medium that does not consider faithful to its own truth, which it makes absolute, whether it is or not.

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