Photo: Thiany Rodríguez for Panorama

As the communicational hegemony doubles down on its attempts to further control the Internet by selectively blocking sites and arresting social media users, it still depends on cadenas nacionales, mandatory broadcasts on all free-to-air stations, to push its agenda.

Is there people who follow them? Why?

NGO Medianálisis and pollster Delphos made a study earlier this year to answer those two questions. Turns out, there’s still a large group of Venezuelans that take their time to listen to what Nicolás Maduro and his government have to say.

When asked “What do you do when a cadena is on?” 44% of the respondents admit that they tune in for part of it or even for the whole thing (remember, it can last for hours), while a 56% prefer to either sign-off, change to cable or go online or on social media.

The results are broken down by age, showing how older people (+50) is the largest group who watches or listens to it through the end (almost 40%). On the other hand, young people prefer to look elsewhere.

Turns out, there’s still a large group of Venezuelans that take their time to listen to what Nicolás Maduro and his government have to say.

And why those who pay attention do so? Almost half of the respondents say “Because they’re our authorities;” 32% prefer to say “Because I like what they say” and only a single person polled says that not following cadenas could mean trouble at work.

There are also reasons why many choose to look at certain parts only or not follow at all: 31% say “they’re not interested in politics” (especially among the middle class and poor sectors), and another 31% say that cadenas “say many irrelevant things.”

There’s still a major audience (those who carry the carnet de la patria), but even among them, there are those who would rather do something else than just sit down and watch.

Medianálisis compares this study with their previous efforts on the subject (focus groups), noticing how the majority of answers a couple of years ago were mostly “turn the radio or TV off.” That being said, the fact is there are still many people who watch or listen to cadenas out of loyalty, to get some information about what’s going on or simply because there’s nothing else to do.

Media scholar Andrés Cañizalez points out in his 2012 book “The Mediatic Presidency” that on the day of Hugo Chavez’s first presidential inauguration (February 2, 1999), the total time of the four cadenas covering it was eight hours and 14 minutes.

Few could predict back then that what used to be an exception, would become the rule in Revolution.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Propaganda, lie lie lie, turning defeats into victories and all that Gobbels bullshit, thats their sole purpose

  2. The numbers are not so surprising. After the fall of communism in Russia, the communist party still polled 20 – 30%. Lots of people had depended on the old order for their livelihoods, or were conservative in their views and associated the Party with national day parades, public ceremonies and other patriotic sentiments. What could have undermined Chavismo would have been a free press lining up the plans and promises spouted in the cadenas set alongside the the futile, pathetic results (if any results at all). But the media were muzzled in time to prevent full revelation to a broad national audience of the emptiness of the words of the cadenas..

    • The numbers are surprising because the situation in the former soviet republics was not nearly as terrible as Venezuelas situation is right now , of course as the only way of survival is dependent on govt hand outs (increases in minimal wages and pensions) people are naturally interested in hearing when a new one is announced , but other than that, watching those chains because one LIKES what is said in them points towards a mass pathology in the mind of people watching them , either they have become DELIRIOUS , masochistic or they have become infantilized by exposure to govt messages and disinformation ( with an average IQ of 84 in venezueka there are a lot of virtual half wits out there) . Still the implications of so many still watching those clownish presentations is a sign of mental degradation as makes one wonder at venezuelas capacity for harbouring a normally functioning democracy !!

      • “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

        — British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli

        • “There are 2 kinds of truth, political truth, and the real truth–Political Truth: a lie repeated often/public enough that it becomes accepted as “truth”; Real Truth: A boy doesn’t lie to his Momma.”–Harry S. Truman.

    • Deja vu is a perfect way to describe it, the only good thing is that at least we dont have Hillary and Obama soft lets look at the other way while narcos, communist, cubans and terrorist have a big orgy in out backyard foreign policy

    • Yes, Morena is the mexican psuv and now they have majority of all positions in the country and pretty much control of all political institutions. Mexico is another country with nationalized oil, which is great as far as the corrup politicians and Cuba is concerned. They have a new colony to support them now that Venezuela is broke.

      The drug cartels are simply going to take over, they will be the next socialismo del siglo 21 narcostate cuban colony. And they will deserve it for being morons

  3. Here is how I read this:

    44% watch multiplied by 32% who like what they say equals 14% of the population. That is the actual extent of real support for Chavismo.

    • If thats the math then the numbers are believable , but the text is so fudged and imprecise that one gets the impression that the numbers may be higher …..even if maybe, actually, they are not…..!!

      • The only possible fault in my analysis is the assumption that there are no people who like what hear in the cadenas but don’t listen to them. Personally, I am comfortable with it, but decide for yourself.

        The people who responded that they watch because “they are our authorities” are expressing submission to that authority, not support or agreement.

        My own gut feel estimate of real support for Chavismo has been 15% for some time now. This is the sector of the population that is so emotionally invested they can never admit to themselves that they were tricked and betrayed. It is also a mostly older part of the population. The younger generation has no interest in ideology. They are busy with surviving and/or escaping.

    • 12%, Roy.

      That’s the amount of people that voted for chabizmo in 2005, even after the grossly disgusting fraud that the regime performed in 2004, HRA, Borges and Petkoff insisted on sweeping the whole thing under the rug to go with the sold maggot Rosales to the sold election in 2006.

      • not to mention that in 2002 Chavez literally resigned in Orchila. The civic oposition actually defenestrated Chavez in 11 de Abril. It was no coup, he fled after Plan Avila failed, it was not the military because those assholes brought him back and it sure as fuck werent the assholes of Fedecamaras and Coordinadora Democratica , those pieces of shit negotiated with Chavez after he returned and continue to do so. It was the people, 1.5 million marching and dying.

        Thats the reason it pisses me off so much to hear “huuur but why dont they rise if they are so unhappy durrrr” People already DID.

  4. Sometimes a kernel of scientific enlightenment comes through. I remember back in the day, learning from El Commandante himself, that Mars was once populated by happy, successful people, but then they started practicing capitalism and became extinct.

  5. Let me answer the question before reading the article and finding the lie that “most still have a mystical connection with chabizmo because it made them visible” (An absurd lie)

    They’re forced to do so, we all know how they’re coerced, yet some still want to stick to the absurd fallacy that chabizmo is NOT a dictatorship but a “flawed democracy with misunderstood and funnily incompetent but good-meant bureaucrats that still has the majority of the people’s hearts.”

  6. my elderly father usually leaves some of his cadenas on, he is kind of addicted to getting pissed off and he extracts any new piece of news that might ruin the country even more. He is not chavista, a lot of people do the same, specially the elderly because almost everyone else will just log in online to catch the latest news rather than tuning in to the tv.

    no one is watching because they are thrilled, is only to know whats coming and what kind of bullshit will he come up now to ruin everyones lives.

    Translating ratings with popularity is a mighty flawed analisis to extract from this.

    You also kinda forget the fact that the cadenas are CADENAS, millions of households in venezuela don´t have cable and millions of drivers who listen to radio all day SE LA TIENEN QUE CALAR. If you want to catch the soap opera or the futbol match you are stuck with a cadena until it finishes

  7. I think the truth of it is that there might be some grotesque fascination with how they are going to spin it and that is why people watch.

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