La hegemonía va por dentro

Welcome to Venezuelan State Radio, now with programming free of "loyal criticism".
Welcome to Venezuelan State Radio, now 100% free of “loyal criticism”.

Almost a month ago, we had an unusual case of self-censorship inside the State Media System (SIBCI): the main TV channel VTV took off the air the late night show Los Papeles de Mandinga, (which replaced La Hojilla after the Mario Silva tape leak of last May).

The reason? During a show back on August 6th, host Alberto Nolia strongly criticized the government on the issue of crime and the new Disarmament Law.

Nolia later admitted in his Twitter account that VTV’s decision of dropping his show was actually imposed by a “higher political level”. It’s not so hard to figure out what it was.

But it looks like that wasn’t an isolated case after all: Chavista political analyst Heiber Barreto has denounced that at least ten radio and TV programs which he considers as “loyal critics of the Revolution” have been recently dropped by State Media and other private outlets.

Two of those shows were hosted by another Chavista political analyst Nicmer Evans. He wrote a response in Aporrea, where he called out State Media as “hypocrite”.

The official reaction from both State Radio and TV has been quite different: in the case of Venezuelan National Radio (RNV), its current head admitted months ago that changes are being made in order to make its programming “more dynamic”. Meanwhile, VTV has now replaced its president Gustavo Arreaza, who was in charge for just four months. There has been complaints in Chavista circles about a decline in the channel’s content.

Some of the programs dropped were broadcasted on Canal I, the TV channel owned by well-known crony businessman Wilmer Ruperti. Remember when that channel was heavily promoted years ago as an alternative to Globovision? No? Me neither. In fact, by looking to its latest offering of shows, looks like they’re pretending that didn’t happen.

As Quico has described, while the public spotlight is on Globovision (just like it was on RCTV years ago), the communicational hegemony keeps advancing on multiple fronts faster than ever, to the point that even State media itself is not safe.