English | The Law | Video | 13 marzo 2012

CNN iReport: Hugo Chávez’ illegal State TV campaign

(2min) It is an abuse of power and a violation of the Venezuelan Constitution and anti-corruption law for President Hugo Chávez and other government officials to repeatedly utilize State TV and National Blanket Broadcasts*** to attack opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.

In this 2 minute clip from February 15, 2012 at 1pm, Chávez takes advantage of another National Blanket Broadcast*** to draw a clear distinction between himself and his presidential opponent of the United Democratic Alternative (MUD), Henrique Capriles.

CNN iReport video link: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-757213
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Illegally utilizing public resources via the State communications machinery, Chávez indicates that Hugo Chávez the “choice of the people”, of “strength and power”, and of “Motherland (Patria)”.

Chávez indicates that a vote for Capriles, however, is a vote for the same old “capitalist”, “retrograde” and “anti-Motherland” “bourgeoisie”.

More videos of Chávez’ abuse of power: http://youtube.com/yomonitoreo

THE LAW
As a public official, President Hugo Chávez must be “at the service of the State and not of any bias”.*

Utilizing the National Blanket Broadcast of Radio and Television, Chávez has the obligation to represent all legitimate political tendencies and not to air electoral propaganda.

Appropriate use of the National Blanket Broadcast*** is to inform the nation of State affairs, without attacking or criticizing opponents or waging an election campaign.

“Any public official abusing his functions, using his government position to do electoral favor or harm to a candidate, group, political party or movement, will be sanctioned with a prison sentence of 1 year to 3 years.”**

*Article 145, Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

**Article 68, Anti-Corruption Law of Venezuela

***In Venezuela, a ‘national chain’ broadcast (Cadena Nacional de Radio y Televisión) is an obligatory National Blanket Broadcast that–by law–must be aired by all domestic radio and television stations. Not all countries have an equivalent (US, UK, etc.) and the mechanism allows President Chávez to commandeer the airwaves at any time for as long as he wishes. He gives speeches for hours, sings and chants with members of his government and political party. Recently and in violation of the Venezuelan Constitution and anti-corruption law, Chávez has been blatantly utilizing the National Blanket Broadcast in order to kick-off his presidential election campaign.

http://monitoreociudadano.org :: Monitoreo Ciudadano (Citizen Monitoring) is a citizen initiative and NGO dedicated to monitoring and exposing the abuse of power and public resources by the Venezuelan government in efforts to illegally influence Venezuelan elections. — President Hugo Chávez has in recent months abused both State TV and obligatory nationwide blanket broadcasts (cadena nacional) on multiple occasions to support his candidacy for president and attack his opponent.

Citizen Monitoring uses the Twitter hashtag #AbusoPoder (Abuse of Power) to register complaints: https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23AbusoPoder

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