Chavez says he won't stop taking over airwaves

Published: 23rd July 2012 11:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2012 11:11 AM   |  A+A-

President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that he will not stop seizing control of Venezuela's airwaves to give his trademark marathon television and radio addresses despite complaints from his challenger that it gives him an unfair advantage during the country's presidential election campaign.
Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has demanded that election officials prevent Chavez from taking political advantage of the special broadcasts, which all networks are required by law to air, ahead of Venezuela's Oct. 7 election.
Directors of the National Electoral Council have approved campaign regulations that prohibit TV and radio messages that favor a presidential candidate to run longer than three minutes. But it's unclear whether the president's frequent and lengthy special broadcasts, known as "cadenas," will be affected.
"The cadenas are part of the national government's information strategy," said Chavez, speaking during one of the special broadcasts. "The bourgeoisie wants me to give up something that's the faculty of the president of the republic. I'm not going to do it."
Chavez, a former paratroop commander, argued that most of Venezuela's privately owned TV channels, radio stations and newspapers are biased in favor of Capriles and he accuses the independent media of ignoring his government's achievements.
"The major part of the radios, television channels and newspapers are in the hands of the bourgeoisie," said Chavez, who is seeking re-election to a fresh six-year term.
When Chavez took office in 1999, he referred to four major TV channels — RCTV, Venevision, Globovision and Televen — as the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." He accused the channels supporting a short-lived 2002 coup by broadcasting cartoons and movies instead of the protests that aided his return to power.
But the government refused to renew RCTV's broadcast license in 2007, and Venevision and Televen have since curbed their criticism of the government, while Globovision has remained sharply critical of Chavez.
Chavez has been making more frequent use of his ability to take over the airwaves since he completed cancer treatment and started rehabilitation, talking on TV and radio for several hours a couple times a week.
He often lambasts Capriles and vows to win the looming election during the broadcasts.
Over the past 13 months, Chavez has undergone two surgeries that removed tumors from his pelvic region, most recently in February. That's meant Chavez has appeared in public less frequently than in the past, a dramatic shift for his 13-year-old presidency.
Earlier this month, Chavez announced that he's completely free of cancer and assured Venezuelans that physical limitations stemming from his recuperation will not affect his re-election bid.
The socialist leader has not disclosed key details about his illness including the type of cancer that had been diagnosed.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp