Chávez abuses State media calling election rival a "low-life pig"

  • Published on Mar 21, 2012
  • Abusing Venezuela's obligatory National Blanket Broadcast, intended for State emergencies and announcements, President Hugo Chávez insulted his rival in the October 2012 presidential elections by calling him a "low-life pig".

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    (16 Feb 2012, Video #103, 2min) In an event supposedly honoring the graduation of community medics and doctors, Chávez blatantly ignored legal restrictions in the Venezuelan constitution and anti-corruption law prohibiting the use of public institutions for political propaganda. Government officials are also prohibitted from engaging in election campaigning while exercising their official duties. The National Blanket Broadcast (cadena nacional) is intended exclusively for official State matters.

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    Although in blatant violation of existing Venezuelan law, neither the National Electoral Council (CNE) nor the national telecommunications regulator (CONATEL) have made any indication that Chávez should stop his illegal electioneering or that they will be investigating the abuses.

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    It is an illegal abuse of power to use Venezuelan public media to campaign. Venezuelans must denounce this unfair election favoritism and demand a true democracy! Please share our videos on social networks to help spread the word.

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    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 16, 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.

    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. :: 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: #!/search/%23AbusoPoder

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