Things I learned watching last night's cadena (UPDATED)


Last night’s cadena nacional presenting the regime’s “evidence” that the opposition is to blame for getting their faces kicked in at the National Assembly is the stuff of legend.

Here’s the belief-beggaring goebbelsian job:

Here’s what I’m thinking as I see this:

  1. I get it. Chavismo wants “Patria Querida” to become the new national anthem.
  2. Why have a total non-entity present the cadena? Wouldn’t be better if Information Minister Ernesto Villegas did it himself? Was he too busy?
  3. By indicating that Nicolas Maduro himself ordered the broadcast of this cadena, they give the game away: this isn’t about the truth, it’s just an attack on the opposition.
  4. That background music! Is it a film score by Hans Zimmer or one of his proteges? Next time, why not use something from Transformers 3’s soundtrack? Do you remember when the government attacked Globovision’s “musiquita de miedo” as psychological warfare?! Here, they use it to present people talking as an automatic conspiracy. [Update: a keen-eared reader locates the soundtrack origin… watch it and weep…]
  5. The musiquita conveniently pre-empts the actual footage’s soundtrack. So, whoever is listening this by chance in the radio has no idea of what the hell is going on.
  6. There are security cameras in the roof of the chamber that can cover everything. Sadly this same system was quite ineffective during Maduro’s swearing-in ceremony.
  7. Somehow, zoom-in footage of Julio Borges rummaging for stuff is supposed to be scary.
  8. Every single opportunity to put disgraced MP Juan Jose Caldera on screen is seized.
  9. Turns out fog-horns and whistles are way more dangerous than firearms.
  10. By that standard, a banner is a weapon of mass destruction.
  11. Alfonso Marquina is wearing a bike helmet. That makes him the leader of the evil plot. Because the events of the night in no way indicate you might need a helmet to keep your head from getting bashed in, you see?
  12. Diosdado Cabello doesn’t care much about what’s happening right in front of him.
  13. When the footage isn’t good enough, cut to still photos of guys with portable fog-horns.
  14. Eduardo Gomez Sigala is the worst person in the world for standing his ground.
  15. Using your closing statement to insist that the National Assembly is “an automomus power” is a signal that it isn’t. Also, calling this event as an “occurrence”? Seriously? So, can we expect more of these in the future? They’re selling it like is something normal.

It’s important to point out that the moment when the actual assault begins is not included, even if they remain us that they have a lot of cameras inside the chamber.

What’s to make of all this? Presenting heavily-edited clips under crazy scary music instead of the raw footage at your disposal is an admission that your argument is weak.

In the end, what we get is an arroz-con-pollos-sin-pollo, images of the actual brawl are pointedly left out, largely because what they show is little beyond chavistas wailing on opositores. Those images were already online moments after it happened, but if you don’t have YouTube or Globovision where you live, you’ll never get to see them.

What we saw last night is Communicational Hegemony not as project but as reality, folks.

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  1. They even spell it out: The purpose of the video is to prove that the opposition “provoked” the violence, not that they started it, indirectly admitting that it was them who started, just that they were justified…

    • The purpose, yes. However, it also underscores that they are fighting the erosion of their grassroot support. Being caught cheating would be a disaster, but these repressive acts to thwart the recount are gradually undermining their support as well. They are walking a tightrope!

  2. It was a jaw-droppingly amateurish piece of propaganda. Where’s that Brazilian guy they had running the Maduro campaign? This is for a population that leaves home every day not sure if they will return. This is crazy stupid!

    More! More!

  3. Eduardo Gomez Sigala is the worst person in the world for stand his ground. I think its “for standing his ground”, if it is, I hate being the grammar nazi here 🙁

    • I am confused as the point of the cadena. It pisses off the opposition even more, and it is very unconvincing to a Ni-Ni. In fact, one could argue this puts the Ni-Nis even more strongly in the opposition camp as it raises even more attention to the attack. I guess they think this solidifies Chavistas behind the government by pointing out that the opposition is not just rolling-over?? I guess they are going for even more polarization??

      I would love to see a new poll…the opposition must be picking up some serious politically after all of this…

  4. Gustavo,

    Any scoop on Villegas not participating in this cadena? Could it be that Villegas thought this would be an embarrasment, even for him?

    • don’t worry, they’ll all be piling in to chime, pretty soon. They must be taking a break. Notice how a bunch always come in together? Like they have little courage to stand and argue on their own two feet.

      • Being truly evil requires some degree of competence. The great leap forward starved millions, but it was only made possible by the great propaganda efforts on the part of the party and very effective confiscation of food on the part of the local officials. Luckily for Venezuela, the government is too corrupt and innefficient to willfully starve millions. It could never organize such a top down disaster.

  5. Here’s a funny fact about Globovisión’s “Terror Music” the composer is the recently appointed VTV president Gustavo Arreaza, brother of VP Jorge Arreaza and related to Alberto Federico Ravell… so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he himself was responsible for scoring last night’s cadena.

    • So, lemme get this straight. The current VTV President is the brother of the Vice President of Venezuela? That’s like Joe Biden’s son being appointed to being the President of CBS News.

  6. WTF is this supposed to prove? All this shows is that diputados stand about, sometimes yell at each other and rummage for things in their bags. If this was their smoking gun it’s incredibly lousy. You still don’t see how the entire fight broke out, just the before and after.

    • One thing was clear though. The opposition deputies were protesting on their own side of the room and the violence broke out on that same side which can only mean that the violence went to where they were. Who brought it there?

      • The government is admitting that they brought the violence; they are claiming that they are excused because the opposition were the ones who “provoked” them to violence.

      • Didn’t you lip read MCM? She was clearly scripting the “yo momma” taunts that each of them were going to use to “provoke” the violence.

  7. What is breathtaking about this cadena is the fact that government actually believes that the poor and dispossessed of Venezuela will accept THEIR thoroughly contrived facts at face value. It’s kinda like the government of Louis XVI trying to persuade Madame Defarge that there is no food shortage in Paris. Even the lowest of the downtrodden have their limits to obvious bullcrap.

  8. Of course there was fraud in the election! The cadena is proof that they are losing their bearings and not of their incopetence!

  9. I know that I’m going to be way out of the perol here, but isn’t about time that the opposition members start some sort of lawsuit frenzi against these people?
    I know how the “law” operates, but that shouldn’t stop Capriles of filing a law suit against Iris Varela for accusing him on cadena “assasin & drug addict”, against the responsible of the bill board in Aragua that said; “Capriles Asesino”. Those are very grave, serious statements.
    Maria Corina filing a lawsuit against the bachaca that broke her nose, Borges against the cuban guy.
    Fill the courts with lawsuits, even if they go nowhere….for now.

    • I agree with Carolina.

      I would add this: copy of the lawsuits should be provided to OAS, Unasur, Mercosur together with a letter at the start stating (and meaning it) said copy was also provided to the international media.

      Brazil and other South American “cousins” of us will support Chavismo for a long time: they profit a lot with Venezuela’s wreck…but pressure will be mounting on them. They know Chavismo’s support among the population is declining by the day.

      One day this will count. We also need this for the record. One day I want to see from Morales to Cabello to Maduro behind bars.

      • That was the same in Pinochet’s Chile, it was almost certain that no judge would do something, but it was the act of reporting it that counted (and sometimes there was a judge that actually did his work). Otherwise it looks like a very “benign dictatorship” for observers.

    • Apparently it has been cleared up that this “person” is not Cuban but Venezuelan, unfortunately. Nevertheless, we could make a very good case that he is neither, as he appears to be much closer to a gorilla.

    • Pffff, que montaje tan balurdo, ahi se puede ver claramente como Maria Corina estaba usando su nariz para agredirle los nudillos a la noble diputada Nancy Ascencio

    • wow, the government-associated experts on manipulating photos and videos, and this is the best they could come up with????

    • The irony of this video es that it was first showed in la Hojilla Tuesday night. I almost vomited watching it, but they provide the evidence of their own crime! There was a “malandro” explain the video and point out how a “chavista diputada” was pushed. However never point out that in the same video shows Maria Corina’s attack.

  10. That music reminded me of James Bond from the 90s. Ridiculous. The editing is awful, and the emphasis on diputados that are just walking around or picking up a bag or whatever is just pathetic.

    Also, it’s fascinating that even the woman who speaks at the beginning says, “el presidente constitucional de Venezuela…” as if to emphasize that fact for herself, in case she still didn’t believe it.

  11. Gustavo: In the video about …”when the actual assault begins” a chubby guy wearing a jacket with the colors of the venezuelan flag is throwing punches left and right. In the “cadena” video (the same guy?) is throwing two chairs. Do yo know if these are the same guy?

    Funny how the oppo deputy pulls out what appears to be an Ipad and some small bag from his backpack (snacks?). How is people supposed to believe he is instigating violence?

    • The tricolor jacket is now used by members of both sides (Diosdado himself was wearing one at the time), so it’s difficult to identify them.

    • Gustavo: In the video about …”when the actual assault begins” a chubby guy wearing a jacket with the colors of the venezuelan flag is throwing punches left and right. In the “cadena” video (the same guy?) is throwing two chairs. Do yo know if these are the same guy?

      I noticed the same thing. The chair-thrower is probably a different guy and a member of the opposition– otherwise the cadena would have edited it out.

      • actually I think the chair thrower WAS NOT the same guy they showed putting something in his jacket; I think the chair thrower and the fat punchy guy are the same but the clip is edited to make it look like the opposition guy

  12. Stay focused on the recount, the reason the fight broke out is because the recount is not being done properly.

  13. So now we know why Villegas was not around, he will be directing Globovision from now on…

  14. From this video we see various things: Maria Corina organizing the troops pre-trifulca; Julio Borges/some woman taking the cans of gas paralizante out of his backpack; the spraycans spewing gas paralizante at the defenseless majority Chavista delegates; some upstairs Gallery Oppo infiltrator trying to jump down and attack the defenseless Chavistas; a hefty but not monstruously fat flag-jacketed Oppo delegate throwing a chair unprovoked at the innocent Chavistas (misidentified for a fat flag-jacketed monster throwing punches left and right at the Oppo); and, after 2 quick cuts, Maria Corina being escorted by the Oppo delegates right from the foot of the Diosdado podium, apparently after (not seen) she apparently tripped and fell, fracturing her nose in 4 places….All seems very clear to me….

  15. Actually the punch up video was front page on the BBC the day after it happened – that’s where I first saw it so it went out globally.

    Th Cadena just leaves me wondering what exactly it’s supposed to be showing – apart from that its very boring and amateurish

  16. Wow. This is breathtakingly awful. I don’t think this would convince a 5 year old.

    They would have been better off just not showing anything at all…who is running this operation???

  17. We all should be thankful for this gift. Not only for the attack itself, but also this cadena which only further raised awareness of the incident.

    This worked for the 3 populations that matter. What can we now do to further change opinion and not lose the momentum of the moment???

    • Tiny correction: Reich -> republic, for the sake of a fair translation, even if she does reminds me of those women working for the SS-Gefolge.

      • No, reich -> “realm”, “state”, “empire”. (It does not translate directly.)

        For instance, “Austria” is the anglicization of “Osterreich” (“eastern realm”), from the country’s position in the Middle Ages.

        The Imperial Austrian parliament was the Reichsrat.

        OTOH, Goering was given the title of Reichsmarschall, and the Nazi security agency was the Reich Sicherheit Haupt Amt.

        So definitely not “republic”.

    • I can’t watch all of this it is so horrible, but one comment about Planet Varela: they do REHAB in Venezuelan prisons? Really? What, between the parties, guns, coke and “gladiator” contests?

    • I feel bad that El Potro is sitting next to her. I was unaware he had chavista leanings…especially since he’s had reasonable success as a singer.

  18. The greatest irony about the pro government’s position starts with the premise that if the opposition accepts the electoral system that elected them to be there, then the opposition must accept the electoral system that elected maduro. The irony is that the progovs aren’t applying the same logic to themselves:

    If the electoral system that elected the opposition does not give the opposition the right to speak, then the same electoral system that elected the progovs does not give the progovs the right to speak, either, let alone the right to prevent others from speaking.

    • Okay extorres, let me get this straight.
      By their presence in the AN, the opposition accepts the electoral system.
      By their presence in the AN, the progovs accepts the electoral system.

      Because the progovs do not allow the opposition to speak, It follows then that the progovs must be the ones rejecting the electoral system. The progovs do not respect that the opposition won via the same electoral system and have an equal right to speak.

      Moeover, because the progovs refuse a full audit, the progovs are the ones rejecting the electoral system. The opposition wants the laws followed but the progovs reject following the laws.

      Again, Chavismo is trying to paint the opposition with Chavismo faults.

  19. Chavista’s say that the opposition provoked the attacks?
    Let me remember if Chavistas have ever done something that deserved a fist in the face!
    No, lets not go there now. Just save this precedent for further use.

  20. I wonder where “Get A Clue” went? 🙂 I guess no person can defend the crap coming out of the government at this point…

    And Maduro saying the fog horns were filled with gas and they had to react? Seriously?? I guess he thinks that Venezuelans are so uneducated that none of them have any idea what a fog horn is AND they are going to accept this excues even no one does???…If it was gas, why is the opposition not in jail???? Please!!!!

    In all honesty, this line of defense completely confuses me. The much better defense is to ignore it…But I guess it is too late for that now…

  21. I have shut down any chavistas commenting on these aggressions on other forums completely just by asking: “Where are the injured chavista deputies?”

    On the other hand it is high time to say it clearly and loudly: We in the opposition don’t trust this CNE and would never trust it to manage any election except that we have been forced to this extreme. WE HAVE WON ELECTIONS IN THESE CONDITIONS IN SPITE OF THE CNE and the other branches of government submissive to chavismo. In spite of their best efforts to alter results and be unfair and partial as possible to government candidates using government money as they please. In spite of threats, violence, clientelism, vote-buying, intimidation of voters, and almost all the types of fraud, cheating and intimidation that are possible on election day.

    Those attacked deputies of the opposition are legitimate, and more than legitimate, there would have been more of them. They are AS LEGITIMATE AS CAN ONLY BE A GOAL SCORED with a corrupt, bought-for referee, because the corrupt referee could not find a way to void it. Maduro, winning by a minimum difference in such a thoroughly corrupt setup, we refuse to recognize.

    • And did I mention? Though I can feel the pain, the distress and the fear that the people in opposition to Chavez must be feeling in Venezuela because they are being attacked by murderous thugs… There’s this sliver of satisfaction in seeing the thugs of chavismo so eagerly destroying the image Hugo Chavez (and Roy Chaderton and countless propagandists, paid and unpaid) carefully built, and in the end, chavismo itself.

    • What is amazing is that Chavez really had a gift at making the opposition look dumb. Now, despite all the tools at its disposal, the remaining Chavistas are in full panic mode and are making themselves look dumb. What a turnaround…

  22. “Those images were already online moments after it happened, but if you don’t have YouTube or Globovision where you live, you’ll never get to see them.

    What we saw last night is Communicational Hegemony not as project but as reality, folks.”

    And maybe it’s time. It’s time to resist Communicational Hegemony in creative ways. What about a laptop? What about a cellphone line with data connection? What about actually going to those places where Globovision and Youtube don’t reach and showing the actual video? Is someone doing it? Even trying?

  23. A new article should be opened up discussing Obama’s statements on the violence and Maduro’s attack of Obama as the chief devil.

    I think Maduro realizes he is in some deep crap, so he is trying to pull one of Chavez’s moves by attacking the US. Will it work though? In the end, Obama is more liked by the people of Venezuela than Bush was…Further, Chavez never really went after Obama, so I am not sure “El Pueblo” will buy into all of this???


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