Tell me, Diosdado, what would you like me to ask you?


That last phrase did not make it on air, but I’m willing to bet it was the first question Vladimir Villegas asked Diosdado Cabello during this stellar example of complacent journalism/total waste of 30 minutes I will never get back from my life.

Congratulations on your new show, Vladimir, I’m sure we have many hours of insightful, intrepid interviews to look forward to in the future.

Oh, and you forgot to ask Diosdado about his favorite color.

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  1. Emiliana, I think it’s really harsh to call Villegas in this particular interview as a complacient interviewer, he raised some interesting and direct questions towards Diosdado, like the fact that not everyone that flees from chavismo can be considered anti-patriotic, a yankee, or someone bought by the CIA.

    Besides, I enjoyed this interview because for the first time I saw Diosdado being pressed on hard issues in a television interview instead of being praised or exalted like on VTV, and the only way you could have managed to do that was with a moderate, but certainly not lenient, interviewer like Villegas.

    I don’t know about you, but I prefer the way that Villegas constructed the interview than the way someone like Nitu would have managed it.

    • I agree on the Nitu point. the rest I think I’m seeing the interview from a different angle. I did see the complacent aspects Emiliana was talking about in the body language and attitude of Villegas. If you see on the first segment he tried to have a question or topic about “moving on past the April coup” and he was denied, Cabello went on and on about how the opposition or “them” never took responsability and so on.

      I think that is what she meant by complacent, Villegas never insisted on his questions that took Cabello out of the “omg no dude, no moving on” attitude. He just said “well okay…”.

      I’m not saying he has to be like Nitu (God no) but if this is a conversation show like “ciudadano” because clearly this is what it wants to be, then it needs to be a little more assertive.

    • Ignacio, Vladimir is a smart and shrewd interviewer and has shown his skills many times over, particularly in his Entrevista radio show on 90.3. He has firsthand political experience to draw from, knows how to get answers from evasive subjects, how to cut through the rhetoric and get substance when he wants to, and does it without resorting to aggression or hostility, all the while maintaining a relative sense of impartiality in his questioning (Nitu, on the other hand, does none of the above).
      Diosdado Cabello is one of the most powerful, polarizing figures in this country, and has been a main actor in most, if not all, of the transcendental political events of the past decade in Venezuelan history.
      Forgive me if I´m somewhat disappointed by what I consider to be a wasted opportunity by both interlocutors. Did you get any insight from this conversation, that you didn´t already know? Did you find Vladimir´s questions interesting? and if so, were you satisfied by Diosdado´s answers? A good interviewer digs deeper when his subject gives him superficial fluff, and even when Vladimir made feeble attempts at formulating incisive questions, he let Diosdado change the subject or just ignore him.
      To use your example:
      VV: “No todos los que salen del chavismo son traidores, ¿no crees que el chavismo debe revisarse?”
      DC: “La única garantía de paz verdadera es el Chavismo.” (Don´t you think that answer merits a prompt for further explanation?)
      or better yet:
      VV: “Tú dijiste que Chávez los controlaba, y ahora ¿quién controla?”
      DC: “Dijeron que Diosdado se estaba burlando…es mentir…allí hay grabaciones de Julio Borges con bolsos…algunos con cascos… blablabla” (really???)

      Either Vladimir phoned this one in, or he is just (understandably) scared of Diosdado.

      • So I suppose you can do it better. What are you going to ask “is it true you own the wholw country?”I don’t think is complacent, he raise some good questions, political and social questions. Diosdado did his work, he answered like he is used to, but Vladimir can’t forces him to say whatever we want to hear. Also he just have 25 or less, is not easy interview this kind of guys, they are really prepare to answer almost everything with the same words. Sorry for saying this but is a little naive to think that you can change the interviewed answers, or do you think you can force Diosdado to say something different? If you think so, you really must try to reach him because we all want to hear different answers.

  2. About the “interview” (note the quotes) itself I say “bleh” definitely 30 minutes of my life I’m not getting back. From a production standpoint: Villegas is insipid, he has no charisma and in trying to be cordial and informal he becomes complacent and with a “lo que tu digas papi” attitude.He clearly lost control of the show in a sense since Cabello had his own idea and even tho Villegas tried to have a question to derail from the usual “April coup” speech he failed. So he had to make “questions” that was tailored to Cabello’s state of mind so that Cabello would actually move on with the script.

    If this is a so called “conversation” I don’t want to know what is a debate. I may be naive, but Villegas explaining nervously what the show is about but not really explaining why Cabello was in the show (other than a brief biography) makes me wonder if this is more improvisation than anything else. Like “Hey I have a new show and I don’t know how to start, so let’s start with youuuuu so you can say your crazy things on air”.

    If the idea is for Cabello to do a “history lesson” he didn’t need to go on air on Globo (in my opinion anyway), they do that on a freaking daily basis with their speeches. So why Cabello was there? am I missing something? I try to keep up to date with news but this is just a “wtf moment” for me.

    If I had stakes in Globo I would be very worried about my assets there, the planning and production of this show like this is clearly subpar.

    My two cents anyway, thanks Emiliana for posting.

    • Agree with you, Nadia. The show begins with Vladimir saying this will be a conversation. But it’s nothing of the kind. Diosdado Cabello has control of the *interview* with Vladimir being the listener and occasional interrupter to mention shared parallels.
      Vladimir does get points by trying to get his guest to consider other points of view that are not part of Diosdado’s sociopathic psyche. But he doesn’t hold to the train of thought; he’s easily derailed by Diosdado.

      Could the idea of Diosdado’s *interview* be a method to try to humanize him?

      • !!!
        Humanazing Cabello would actually make sense.
        The thing is for what? Like I said I’m a bit behind on the dates and news so I think I’m not getting that one right away.

        Is Cabello trying to change roles?

        • I agree with the possibility that that he’s trying to be “humanized”. In a regime like chavismo, personality is a big thing. While Nicolás fails on the charisma, he does have a couple of things in his favour, firstly, the whole story about him rising from a bus driver to being president, and more importantly, the fact that Chávez chose him.

  3. Completamente de acuerdo con eso. ¡Qué entrevista tan blandengue! La follow up question a hasta dónde están dispuestos a llegar en la lucha contra la corrupción tenía que venir con uso de recursos del estado para favorecer una parcialidad política donde se pueden sacar infinitos ejemplos indiscutibles con cualquier institución del estado. Como militar qué opina del 328 de la CRBV, etc. Fue un cero a la izquierda esa entrevista!

  4. Question: Correa has stated that he knew in December that Chavez’ illness was fatal. when did you find out?

    Question: Does it respect the electoral process to remove a sitting legislator by majority vote? When the Constitution specifies a 2/3 vote for this, do you not think you are showing contempt for law as well as democracy?

    • Sin duda un par de preguntas pertinentes y muy actuales las planteadas por Jeffry House, pero que lamentablemente un periodista tan veterano como Vladimir no se atreve hacerle al capo del chavismo. A lo mejor el otro hermano (Mario) si lo hubiera hecho, pero entonces el problema es que el capo nunca le daría una entrevista a este último.

  5. I think this interview was the best one could hope for, given the Globo new “owners'” political slant. Vladimir could/cannot be too confrontational, if he wants to keep his show going on Globo. His questions were leading, the answers mis-leading. It was a wonderful opportunity for what’s left of the typical pre-ownership-change base audience of Globo to see the oily/completely unscrupulous Diosdado for what he really is–a pathological opportunistic me-first/only liar.

  6. Diosdado looks like a successful entrepreneur, like one who has managed to go into the business of tuna fish or something.

    I would rather like to ask Villegas something from the past. His parents were persecuted by Pérez Jiménez, they said. How did he fit that to Hugo Chávez Frías’ open admiration for the Andean dictator?

    I didn’t expect Villegas to ask about Diosdado’s favourite colour…that’s a little bit passé…but perhaps he should have asked about his favourite music…there is so much to say there about revolution and our African-Amerindian roots as opposed to the María-Corina-Machado conquistador evil-evil music.

    • te daría asco ver los ojos de Diosdado, al inicio de la dizque entrevista. VERY, very shifty. That’s a screwy mind.

      • Interviewing DDC has to be like interviewing a “recorded message” , nothing will get him to depart from the parroted lies and insults we know so well : the haughty , bossy , scornful ,’ know it all’ , big chip on the shoulder template. Before a microphone he is not a real person but the personification of some made up ‘character’ that he feels makes him the eponimous regime figure head he wants to be . He is clearly acting a role !!, If Villegas had wanted to get at the hidden human character of the guy he probably would not have gotten an interview. !!

        • Did you noticed that nothing is his “their” fault? They are the peace workers of the universe, the Dalai lama have to come to Venezuela to take some classes with them seriously (and maybe trade his wardrobe for the trademark paulie walnuts jacket with the Venezuelan flag all over) …. *rolling my eyes* who believes this guy?


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