Salvados Redux

 

So, #MaduroEnSalvados is back for round two. This time, a lot of attention is given to Venezuela’s current image in Spain something we addressed a bit in last week’s review.

First, two Spanish politicians are given the roles of prosecutor and defense of Maduro and chavismo. The former was one−time Spanish PM Felipe González, who denounces the decline of Venezuelan democracy, especially since December 2015, with MUD’s landslide victory in the 6-D legislative election.

The defense was Alberto Garzón, leader of United Left (right now in a joint coalition with the Podemos folks). He thinks Maduro had a rough time replacing someone like Hugo Chávez in the middle of an economic crisis.

We then come back to the Ayacucho Room, in Miraflores, where Jordi Évole explains the reason behind this all: “In Spain, lots of bad things are said about you. So this is your opportunity to respond.” Évole asks about the 2015 election, with Maduro saying he took defeat with humility (a version that falls flat when fact-checked). The issue of the ANC comes along and Évole shows him images of sessions where many of its members praise Maduro, attacking dissidents.

The president struggled to articulate his defense. According to him, there’s no censorship in the country, there’s just “enforcing the law.” When the issue of Spain arrives, he sidesteps direct criticism of Rajoy by saying his Spanish counterpart “follows U.S. orders.” He won’t take sides in a Spanish internal affair, regarding the Catalonian question, also saying that international intervention is required.

If this was an attempt to present a different image of him to the international audience, he basically fell on his “the right” and “imperial forces” speech.

When Évole asks about the possibility of something similar in Venezuela, recalling an alleged plan to split the nation, Maduro says he wouldn’t talk with separatists (talk about contradicting yourself).

This is a good moment to remind you that after this interview was taped, the Spanish government claimed there’s a disinformation campaign in Catalonia carried out by Russia and Venezuela.

In the last segment, Évole questions Maduro about the alleged Podemos connection. Maduro denies any financing of Podemos or even knowing Pablo Iglesias personally. He admitted meeting co-founder Juan Carlos Monedero. No mention of Alfredo Serrano at all.

Then came a round of questions on abortion and same-sex marriage (Maduro gave non-answers in both), and if he thinks the late comandante eterno would be proud of his successor. Évole gave him the chance of opening up a bit. He didn’t. He also praised Kim Jong-un, because Maduro is gracious like that. 

The second part of Salvados was sort of a letdown. Some of the important questions were left unanswered and there was a lack of focus that the first part didn’t have. Évole had good questions but went easy in several tough spots, without follow-ups. The biggest loser is Maduro; if this was an attempt to present a different image of him to the international audience, he basically fell on his “the right” and “imperial forces” speech. The guy wasted a chance to show a non-gaffe version of himself.

We expected PR and introspection, and we got the same old song and dance.

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