Mérida, November 10, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com)– Tibisay Lucena, the president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) announced on Saturday that her institution would be opening an administrative inquiry into the state TV channel, VTV (Venezuelan TV) for alleged disrespect of article 16 of the Regulation of Publicity and Propaganda.
The article states, "Public and private social media must provide complete, informative, and balanced coverage of the news facts related to the electoral campaign." Specifically, media should "observe a strict balance in terms of space and the hierarchy of information concerning the activities of all candidates, political organizations, electoral groups, and communities or indigenous organizations."
However, on Sunday the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) rejected the decision by the CNE to open an investigation.
"We consider it a way of cornering one of the few means of communication through which the people can be informed, not just about the work of the government but also of all the proposals of the PSUV candidates," said Vanessa Davis, a PSUV spokesperson, during a press conference.
"Furthermore, we want to condemn this decision [that goes] against VTV and we insist that the CNE also investigate the private media, for example, about their mendacious campaigns and their dirty war against the PSUV."
"We notice that [the CNE] insists on cornering VTV in the context of an electoral campaign, knowing that there are other private media that are forever violating the regulations and violating the right to correct information."
"Ninety-five percent of the radio-electric spectrum is in private hands, private hands that have a clear position of opposition to the government," added Blanca Eckhout, also representing the PSUV leadership. She added that 99% of written press is private, and 90% of television.
"Unfortunately, we are living a media dictatorship in Venezuela and now not only with these mendacious campaigns and psychological operations against the people of Venezuela, but now [the opposition also tries to] claim that the small spaces that have opened up so that there is public radio and television, should be silenced," Eckhout said.
Davies also alerted the population to a lie circulating that the PSUV had a foundation that was sending emails to companies requesting money to finance its electoral campaign. The prank email that has been circulating "is so badly written, it was probably done by the UNT," said Davis in reference to Manuel Rosales, president of the opposition party UNT (A New Era), who is well known for his mistakes when communicating.
Davies reminded the press that the PSUV is not requesting money from businesses, but has raffles and sells vouchers as a way to raise money at political events and in its headquarters.
Another example of the "lie campaign" that Davies citied was the campaign by the UNT through the oppositional TV channel Globovision, which claimed there would be ration cards if the government won the elections, in an attempt to create fear in the population.
She also criticized that the private media was not covering any of the recent large pro-Chavez mobilizations.