Analysis | English | News | 14 abril 2013

Government media and Maduro violate ban on campaign activities in Venezuela (Clarín, Argentina)

State-supported candidate Nicolas Maduro continued his campaign yesterday in Caracas. Still don’t know how he cheated the electoral system? Read the electoral fraud primer for Venezuela’s presidential elections.

Compañeros. Nicolás Maduro y Diego Maradona chocan puños, ayer, tras visitar la tumba de Hugo Chávez

Nicolas Maduro and Diego Maradona bump fists yesterday while visiting the grave of Hugo Chavez

State media have refused to comply with the ban on campaign activities dictated by election regulations in Venezuela. Official regulations clearly state that campaign activities must stop three days before election day to provide a period of reflection for citizens prior to voting on Sunday, April 14. In Venezuela, 18 million registered voters will elect a new president to replaced the recently deceased Hugo Chavez and serve until 2019.

Front-runner candidate Nicolas Maduro, designated by Chavez as his successor before his death on March 5, is the major violator of the campaign ban. Maduro mixes government events with political ones, often utilizing official State propaganda–despite the campaign period being over–to promote his candidacy. Nearly all of his announcements and political events are transmitted on the State television channel Venezuelan Television (VTV) as well as on public and State-supported community radio without any shame or attempt to conceal the obvious abuse of power.

Approximately 400 media outlets, including national and cultural radio networks, community radio stations, six State television networks, newspapers and magazines make up the public conglomerate «Bolivarian National System of Communication and Information» (Sistema Nacional Bolivariano de Comunicación e Información, SIBCI). The SIBCI is exclusively dedicated to covering government activities and excludes any information coming from the opposition, its presidential candidate or from the private sector.

Yesterday, the State-owned and run Venezuelan Television (VTV) transmitted a program to commemorate the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez on April 11, 2002. During the broadcast, the former president was honored along with his return to power on April 13. The State channel also denigrated and criticized opposition candidate Henrique Capriles openly for his participation in 2002 events at the Cuban embassy in Caracas.

The public channel also transmitted Nicolas Maduro’s meeting in the presidential palace with international visitors brought to Venezuela by the government for the elections. Having named himself interim president following Chavez’ death, Maduro has not separated himself from his official duties during the campaign. As a result, the line of division between the two roles has been blurred and Maduro has taken continuous advantage of his role as chief executive to support his candidacy.

Following his 48-hour removal from power in 2002, Chavez returned to the presidency on April 13. The date was remembered with events in the mountain barracks (Cuartel de la Montaña) where Chavez’ body was laid to rest. Argentine and international football star Diego Maduro was also present at the event and paid his respects at the former president’s coffin.

Apparently however, Maradona’s appearance in Caracas was not free of cost. Spanish daily newspapers ABC and The Economist have indicated that the Argentine star received 2 million dollars USD to pledge his support for Chavez.

Election violations by candidate Nicolas Maduro and public media in two days alone surpassed 5 hours and 11 minutes broadcasting political content, according to Carlos Ocariz, campaign chief for the Capriles campaign. Ocariz demanded that the National Election Commission declare its position regarding the violations.

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Ocariz: No es posible que el canal oficial… by Globovision

Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

Original article at Clarín (Argentina)