Annals of communicational sausage-making

Remaking the bureaucracy. Because chavistas excel at that...
Remaking the bureaucracy. Because chavistas excel at that…

If you’re interested in how the Revolution is Broadcast, this leaked letter from Information Minister Ernesto Villegas to Hugo Chávez is pretty interesting.

The letter provides a detailed analysis of the current “failed” public media system. It is highly critical of the lack of appealing content in state media, and lays out strategies for moving forward.

What Minister Villegas (in full empire-building, sibling-hiring mode) is proposing is, basically, a complete re-organization of the state media and publicity apparatus, further hounding private media and re-focusing it to become an even more effective tool of the ruling party and of socialist ideology.

As a document, it is an indictment of both current policy and of Villegas himself, who – in proposing governance structures particularly tailored to meet the interests of the PSUV and its allied parties – is essentially committing a crime; and in proposing Telesur en Inglés, is committing a crime against the English language.

It’s a long read, but well worth your time.

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  1. Oooooh, oooh, can I do the “viability study for Telesur in English”?! Pretty Please!

    What a vile creature Villegas is. I especially enjoyed his HORROR at realizing there are a few tiny little stray public radio stations that his ministry doesn’t control directly – one run by the culture ministry, another by MinPoPoEducación. Guy can’t wait to get his paws on those too. Hasta dentro del gobierno se expropian unos a otros…

    • Fascinating interview last night by Vladimir of his brother Ernesto, on Actualidades. Among the gems: Ernesto refused to clarify whether Chavez was well enough to sign letters, saying that would violate his privacy; and in response to the more general issue of whether Chavez could effectively carry out the duties of the presidency while in intensive care, he implied it was no different from being asleep – ‘the president is still the president while he’s asleep’. He got really irritated with Vladimir for pointing out, on more than one occasion, that not everyone who disagreed with the government’s handling of information on the president’s illness was acting out of malice or morbid curiosity.

      • But his most outstanding contribution yesterday (not in the Actualidades interview) was to pontificate (a propos of Globovision’s allegedly ‘incomplete’ reading of Art. 231 of the constitution, and the ensuing action by Conatal) about the responsibility of ‘los que comunicamos masivamente’ to provide complete information. Just moments after refusing to give any more details of the president’s cancer or the operation he underwent in December.

  2. The PSB model in Venezuela has always been an organizational mess, like its fellow Latin American counterparts or even the U.S. model (more commercial-influenced). It has never been unified in one single entity like the CBC/SRC in Canada or the BBC. Doing this would be coherent and efficient.

    But what Villegas proposes in the letter is basically creating a huge communicational monster (Hegemony 2.0) which includes all State outlets, but also taking the para-state media (comunity radios & TV), regional media, internet, social networks and even having a State’s ad agency (Chavismo’s Mad Men).

    This would be too big to handle and its chances of success are pretty low, knowing the current human elements they have right now. Excellence and creativity are not compatible with what Chavismo represents or wants to achieve. The fact that Villegas put his sister, a doctor, as his deputy in the Ministry, confirms he puts loyalty first.

    Right now, that plan is probably on hold for the time being, like the paquetazo.

  3. What an unbelievable tedious letter! I wonder if it is possible for these guys to communicate without the appearance of “sucking-up”. How pathetic.

  4. Interesting all the ticks placed against almost all the names of individuals. Why? Have these people been vetted for sight by the president?

    I also love the way it is just so 20th century in perspective. The list of channels reads like a 1980s TV magazine. I imagine viewing figures will soar appropriately…


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