Alo Presidente [translator: Hello President, President Hugo Chavez’s weekly Sunday show, which saw its 13th anniversary this week] continues to be a milestone and a fundamental reference point in the world of media for liberation. It continues to break with all of the media’s parameters and recipes, and keeps fighting with all its semiotic, aesthetic and political capacities; striving to speak the truth in a way in which no one else is capable and using ways and means which no one else would be able to do or would even dare to. Nobody would have imagined that a programme with such a format would have achieved so much.
Perhaps one of the programme’s greatest strengths is its capacity to organise and its utilisation as a televised space for education and training. It is a gift of political clarity and a pool of humanist thought, with talking, singing and contemplation; reflecting on love, studying public stories, demanding more work and attention from public functionaries and ministers. Alo Presidente continues to be a space for political action which allows us to dream up projects and obliges us to deliver results.
Alo Presidente has managed to achieve something unprecedented, and this makes it the object of serious study, an example in the global arena and a school for social communication which we must develop. We should multiply it in other forms of media and in other ways. Alo Presidente should be more international and be reproduced in embassies and in any other forms of media that we can reach. It is urgent for Venezuela to realise the fundamental role which the Bolivarian Revolution plays on the world stage, and urgent that the world knows what the Bolivarian Revolution has built.
In the array of things that the Alo Presidente has brought to the history of the media is its strength as a critical and self-critical force. Going against all the media operations which strive to accuse Venezuela of stifling “freedom of expression,” Alo Presidente is a guarantee of freedom of expression, as well as stimulating it, even with regards to some of the most unthinkable topics. Freedom of expression for socialist thought is one of its greatest achievements. This is a huge gift which has helped us reach the whole world. Alo Presidente has matured and become even more popular and more commanding in the war against bureaucratisation, as well as leading in the production of the most powerful content in Venezuelan and Latin American political life.
Alo Presidente is a fundamental tool in the battle of ideas which could expand its reach through collaboration with editorials throughout the world, who stand in solidarity with the revolution and are willing to enrich the geo-political debates that Venezuela is currently heading throughout the world; like the Battle of Carabobo on October 7th [the Venezuelan presidential elections].
Alo Presidente should be declared by the National Assembly as a televised programme of public interest. That is why we should create a specialised archive, an investigation centre, a media course, so that there is no media school where the exact contributions of Alo Presidente, the development of its successes and its central principles, are not common knowledge. This is indispensable in the work against the oligarchy’s media war.
Alo Presidente is a point of reference and a break in the worldwide media. It is the product of a revolution in the media which is in full swing. It must be studied as a social phenomenon which has never been experienced by humanity before and has never been seen in Latin America up until now, where a president is also a leader in the media. A leader who knows that it is crucial to build a different kind of media to that which we are used to, a type of media which is congruent with the revolutionary process.
Even with some weaknesses, Venezuela is a vanguard in the media which can lay claim to significant achievements and fundamental challenges. In no other place is the truth spoken like it is in Venezuela, through a system of public media and alternative and community media. In no other place does our struggle’s agenda have the same space that it does in Venezuela. This is one of the achievements of Alo Presidente. However, there is still a lot to be done.
All that quality and quantity, all that effort and initiative, is still insufficient when analysing the asymmetries which are constantly present in the Fourth Generation War. That is why we need more Alo Presidente, that is why we need to deepen the revolution in the field of media, deepening training for revolutionary media cells, the technological revolution, the revolution of containment, the presidential summit in the field of media for liberation, where, in the spirit of Alo Presidente, the media serves as an agent of the truth, organisation and the development of awareness and consciousness. This is urgent.
Translated by Rachael Boothroyd for Venezuelanalysis.com