Analysis | English | News | Reports | 14 abril 2013

Venezuela: 70 hours of State media coverage for government candidate (April 2-12, NGO Citizen Monitor report)

Campaña de Maduro en VTV 6 horas cada día entre 2-11 abril 2013

The Maduro campaign has been on State channel VTV 6 hours every day from April 2 to 12

Between April 2 and 11, in preparation for Sunday’s presidential election, State television channel Venezuelan Television (VTV) transmitted 65 hours and 21 minutes of government candidate Nicolas Maduro’s campaign events. Even after the official campaign period ended, the supposedly public TV station broadcast an additional five hours of Maduro. In the same timeframe, VTV transmitted only 23 minutes of coverage of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles’ campaign.

Cobertura equitativa de VTV: 65 horas de Maduro vs. 23 minutos de Capriles

Equal coverage on Venezuelan State TV: 65 hours for Maduro vs. 23 minutes for Capriles

On average, Maduro has promoted his campaign on the screens of Venezuela’s State TV channel six hours and 32 minutes every day, for the last ten days. If you calculate the cost of that “free press”, it adds up to more than 8 million US dollars (USD 8,253,157 at the official exchange rate), according to the most economical advertising rate published by VTV.

This grotesque amount of Maduro campaign coverage is even more unbelievable when you compare it to the coverage of his opponent Henrique Capriles on the same State channel. During the same campaign period, Venezuelan Television dedicated mere minutes to events in support of Capriles, a fact that demonstrates clear abuse of power in terms of access to public media and undeniably unfair election conditions in Venezuela.

Political use of State media or other public resources violates the Venezuelan Constitution as well as other laws and election regulations. The National Election Commission (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE), however, has done nothing to regulate these violations or enforce any penalties or fines. As a result, it is impossible to characterize Venezuela’s presidential election campaign as either fair or democratic.

Capriles’ campaign team, one of the directors of the National Election Commission (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and other actors have made hundreds of formal complaints to the appropriate authorities to highlight the lack of equality in Venezuela’s presidential elections, scheduled for Sunday, April 14.

The Election Commission, however, has done nothing to regulate these violations or enforce any penalties or fines. As a result, it is impossible to characterize Venezuela’s presidential election campaign as either fair or truly democratic.


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