How Much Does it Cost to Advertise a Fake Election?

The government knows where to invest the dollars they haven’t stolen yet, they are campaigning on social media with money they should be investing in fixing the crisis. Spoiler alert: the amount of zeros is enraging.

Photo: Cambio 16

UPDATED, 5-21-2018:

Fellas, we owe you a mea culpa.

See, when we originally published this piece, our goal was to call your attention to something that’s really happening: chavismo is paying a lot of money on a Nicolás Maduro internet campaign, in dollars, with no type of controls or transparency. Political parties are supposed to submit exact figures of how much they spend on campaigns to the electoral arbiter, the CNE, and that data must be available for everyone to check. It’s one of the many measures against corruption that rule our society, but not really.

The PSUV, even before it had that name, has been super-efficient at bending the rules of democracy. This time, for example, Maduro’s campaign is funded by parties backing him and by an organization called “Somos Venezuela”, presided by Delcy Rodríguez herself. Since Somos Venezuela is not an actual party, but a conglomerate of activists, it escapes the rules theoretically enough to be brought into practice by the abuses of authority we’re accustomed to. We’re pretty sure this isn’t new: the publicity of information principle has been there for over a decade, and the CNE has never, ever, shown these figures.

If you’re in Venezuela, you’ve seen it each time you surf the web, Nicolás Maduro with his uncaring smile in ads that promise a future as if this system hasn’t been in power for almost 20 years. If Venezuela’s coffers don’t have enough money to import the food that people need, or pay debt and avoid the seizure of PDVSA actives, can someone please tell us how this campaign is financed, and by whom?

That was our intention, anyway. In practice, we couldn’t really nail the exact figures of how much was spent, according to which rate, according to which fee. Different sites, like Facebook and YouTube, work with different systems. Time and time again the numbers we got were obviously wrong (and some of you guys caught it in the comments) and, after taking the piece down and considering the sums from different angles, we’ve decided to not to publish a revised version of the piece you previously read at this link.

If we don’t have precise sources or data to provide you the accurate bill of what the reds have been paying, the effort is for naught. Approximations don’t work and you deserve precision.

We’ll keep our eyes extra open in the future to avoid incidents like this, knowing that if we miss the mark on a subject, you’ll notice it immediately.

Thank you.