In the last 15 years, the cadena nacional has become part of the daily programming in free-to-air radio and television. This year more so, what with the situation regarding the health of the Hugo Chávez, his passing, the week of mourning that followed, the 14-A and 8-D elections, and of course the first eight and a half months of the Maduro presidency.

According to this report by Valencia’s El Carabobeño, there were 202 cadenas in 2013, making it the third year with most mandatory broadcasts (almost matching 2005’s number of 215 but way behind record-holder year 2004’s of 374). The count included both the work of Monitoreo Ciudadano, a joint project of several NGOs and the paper itself.

The catch is that Mr. Maduro seems to enjoy the chance of being live on the airwaves almost every single day: in November (seven months after he took office), he surpassed Chavez by more than twelve hours. And thanks to the new budget assigned for special broadcasts (39,5 million Bs.F.), he can even do two cadenas per day. Because hegemony.

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  1. In 2013 there were at least 201 cadenas too many. Presidential death can arguably be considered a reasonable time to do an emergency broadcast, but every TV channel would have joined up voluntarily (as can be demonstrated by foreign channels like CNN or NTN that jumped on the news immediately), so even that occasion seems a little unnecessary.

  2. A few questions . First is there any information on how many people on average actually listen to these cadenas , part time ? in full ?, and second given Maduros style of delivery and the kind of speeches he makes , is there any informed view of whether most people find him less or more appealing or credible because of the cadenas he appears in ??
    In short do the cadenas make him more popular , less popular or don’t make much of a difference?? Are there people who actually enjoy the cadenas or do most people just jawn at them?. I could understand the defunct Chavez having a ready audience of followers to his cadenas because of his oratorical theatrics and showmanship , but Maduro doesn’t quite belong to the same league .

    • There is nothing Venezuelans universally dislike more than an unattractive bore, so I say, bring on Maduro and the cadenas! Every time they show him they remind people of who is in charge, and eventually, people will not forget.

  3. Cadenas are usually very boring stuff , dont know of anyone that doesnt feel irritated and bothered when their favourite programming is interrupted to bring them the tinsel theatrics or hollow ‘institutionalized ‘ messaging that characterize cadena broadcasts . Chavez could be entertaining to his followers , Maduro in contrast is an absolute bore , sometimes downright awkward and shrill in his attemtps to inmitate his succesor . Cadenas I suspect only serve to measure the vanity of the speaker , who probably feels puffed up when appearing before what he imagines to be an enthralled tv audience. . .


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