English | Video | 22 marzo 2012

«You snort like a pig, you low-life!» – Hugo Chávez on the campaign trail (video)

In an amazing performance, before a government mandated national audience, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez detailed the ways his presidential rival Henrique Capriles is like a pig. Chávez repeatedly insulted Capriles, calling him a «low-life» six times in just over 30 seconds. (See translated text of the speech below)

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Ostensibly speaking at the graduation of community medics and doctors, Chávez took the opportunity to take some of his first shots at the recently elected opposition candidate for presidential elections on October 7 of this year.

The speech was broadcast as a National Blanket Broadcast of Radio and TV (cadena nacional), obligatory for all Venezuelan TV and radio stations, public as well as private outlets. This includes, for example, the opposition oriented 24-hour news channel Globovisión as well as popular private entertainment and news channels Venevisión y Televen. Not to mention the 500+ radio and TV stations in the government network.

One of my main tasks and responsibilities now, «low-life»… I mean Mr. «Low-life», is to remove your mask. Because no matter how much you dress up «low-life», you have a pig’s tail, pig’s ears, and… what else?

You snort like a pig. You are a «low-life» pig. You are a pig, so don’t try to hide it. Don’t dress it up, «low-life». The more effort you put into trying to dress yourself up, the worse it will be facing me, every single day, you «low-life».

You won’t be able to avoid confrontation with Chávez. You will not be able to avoid it. For it is a confrontation with our patriots, our nation and our national dignity. — Hugo Chávez, 23 Jan 2012

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This campaign outburst, however, was only the first of numerous instances in which the Venezuelan president has taken advantage of the State media apparatus to promote his candidacy. Throughout January, February and March, Chávez has consistently aired direct and indirect political propaganda as National Blanket Broadcasts.

These transmissions have included the inauguration of his reelection campaign team (really!), an event celebrating his return from Cuba, a 15-minute promotional spot the next day, and two additional–and lengthy–broadcasts wherein presidential candidate Chávez argued that he was not yet campaigning despite also making repeated attacks on his opponent and praising his own political project.

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The use of public media for political gain or campaigning directly is clearly prohibited by both the Venezuelan Constitution and anti-corruption law. Hugo Chávez is breaking the law with no fear of recourse, tilting the electoral landscape as much as State funds can manage. Venezuelan elections will not be truly free until Hugo Chávez stops looting government coffers to pay for his campaign.

By Roberto Velásquez
Citizen Monitoring (Monitoreo Ciudadano)

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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 in the run-up to October 2012 elections.

Imagen de previsualización de YouTube