Elections, Venezuela

The Hugo Chavez Show

Looks as though PBS Frontline will offer us a delectable Thanksgiving-week special this upcoming November 25. Before Americans’ traditional overeating, and the turkey’s dose of L-tryptophan set in, the documentary series aims to “[chronicle] Hugo Chavez’s ascent to power and his efforts to use the powers of the presidency to stay there.”

Considering this documentary will have a timely release amid upcoming Venezuelan regional elections (Nov. 23), it shall be intriguing to see what analytical conclusions the film draws in the wake of this critical political juncture for Venezuela. Although Chavez has been able to eliminate a swath of his key rivals, this race threatens his projection in pivotal sectors of the country— a prospect that would not settle well with the ire of ‘Chavistas’.

The program written, produced, and directed by filmmaker, Ofra Bikel, will pre-release on Frontline’s web site beginning Nov. 19.

Check out a preview below, and give us your take on the film upon its release— Chavez undoubtedly will.


One thought on “The Hugo Chavez Show

  1. Betsy Young says:

    Betsy Young

    I have watched a full sneak preview of this program. I feel the program provides a bleak and unrealistic view of President Chavez and his administration by focusing almost exclusively on negative themes and stories.

    The most egregious mistakes are outlined below and merit a response.

    1. Frontline states that President Chavez resigned during the 2002, which is not true. The Venezuelan leader did not renounce his presidency, although he was held captive and threatened with a bombing of the presidential palace.

    2. Frontline completely ignores the well known manipulation of the events of the 2002 coup by Venezuela’s private media, as well as its role in staging the coup.

    3. Frontline asserts that Chavez used the enabling law to pass 12 laws that did not pass in a referendum on constitutional reforms. However, the 26 laws decreed on the last day of the enabling law are fundamentally different from those that faced referendum last December. All of them are in accordance with the constitution.

    4. Frontline irresponsibly closes the program with the following quote: “Chavez barred hundreds of opposition candidates from running [in regional elections].” Again, PBS gets it wrong as this law was not written nor approved by Chavez. It was made in the National Assembly in 2001 by opposition and government supporters alike, including the former political party of opposition Mayor Leopoldo López, Primero Justicia. The law enables administrative sanctions for a variety of corruption charges and allows politicians to finish their term in office.

    I am extremely disappointed in Frontline’s shoddy journalism here. Fact checking should be a requirement not an option. The Chavez administration is a DEMOCRATIC administration that the Venezuelan people voted for DEMOCRATICALLY, not matter how this show and other media outlets try to mislead us for the purposes of big business that are upset that they can no longer exploit the resources of Venezuela for their own profits. After 8+ years, there is a much higher approval rating of Chavez by the Venezuelan people than we Americans have for Bush – that should say more than any random right-wing Venezuelan or American may say about the amazing DEMOCRATIC revolution that is happening in Venezuelan.

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