Venezuela: The Media’s Force vs. The People’s Force

As the recall referendum approaches, the Venezuelan corporate media is intensifying their ongoing strategy to tarnish Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian administration. But the people won't allow themselves to be manipulated

Less than one month away from the recall referendum to be held on August 15, the Venezuelan corporate media is intensifying their ongoing strategy to tarnish Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian administration. Their objective is clear: try to attain those voters who profess to be neutral and those who traditionally abstain. This strategy reveals, in part, the weak seams of the opinion current they have been utilizing since the beginning of 2002, which alleges that a vast majority of Venezuelans do not support the government, that the simple convening of the referendum should be sufficient in itself, and that no electoral campaign should be necessary, much less a dirty war. On the other hand, the behavior of the media could be explained by the desperation of Venezuela’s and the world’s elite when faced with the truth in numbers, reading their polls and making their projections: the people are solidly with their President.

“They” don’t understand how all the economic and media power in the world is incapable of undermining the popularity of a humble soldier of the people. They have accused Chavez incessantly of being a tyrant, a dictator, a fascist, a “communist”, a corrupt leader, a populist, repressive, a liar, demented, indecent, genocidal, and countless other variations. They have discriminated against him for his origin, his race and for his way of speaking. The fact is that Chávez heads the only government in Venezuelan history that is at the service of the majority and its ideals and dreams, and one that is not at the service of power, imperialism and minorities. So, they need to free themselves from him by any means. They failed at a coup d’etat attempt, an illegal management-led work stoppage and sabotage of the oil company PDVSA, and they are at the point of expending their last shot, for now: popular support.

In order for them to attain citizens’ votes, they have appealed to mental manipulation, the creation of dirty opinion matrices, the occulting or underestimating of information and news about the achievements of the government and now, when their own polls (the true ones, not the ones they publish) tell them which side the people are on, we see them say and do the worst falsehoods. Now, they are left with accusations, defamations, ridiculing, demonizing, front pages, articles, reports, opinion programs, jingles and propaganda (direct and subliminal).

A people committed to dignity and hope is very difficult to manipulate, but they are dedicating all their money, resources, technical and psychological tools and all the hate they have to achieve their goal. The television channels that give air time to those who defend the government are few and weak when compared to the media power of the elite, nationally and internationally. Nevertheless, the tangible accomplishments of a moral, nationalist and Latin American integrationist administration are key elements that reinforce and consolidate the positions of the government and the Venezuelan revolutionary process.

In financial and technological aspects, the battle is asymmetric: in the ethical and moral, the battle is also unequal since the President and the government have supported and have been supported by a dignified and sovereign people, they have awoken souls and consciousness and have demonstrated that there is a path towards social justice and peace, a long road full of obstacles, but a way in the end, that before had been denied or hidden shamelessly by those who today call to vote against Chávez.

The nearing days will not be easy. The media will place their bets on disinformation, confusion and attacks against State institutions and individuals that support the process. They will try to create uncertainty and uneasiness. However, the majority will not allow themselves to be deceived, nor influenced by lies or scare tactics. The strength and joy of those who believe in a world of equals, a just and peaceful world, are unbreakable. 

The media will intensify, but so will the people.

Translation by Eva Golinger