Capriles slams Chavez for blocking broadcast

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s opposition candidate Henrique Capriles slammed President Hugo Chavez yesterday for blocking a live broadcast of an opposition rally, highlighting criticism the leftist leader abuses state resources to guarantee his re-election.

Henrique Capriles

Shortly after Capriles began speaking to thousands of supporters in a Caracas park, Chavez launched a “chain broadcast” across all public access television in which he celebrated his government’s achievements and extolled the virtues of socialism.

“Another radio and television chain broadcast to continue lying to Venezuelans just 20 days before the election,” Capriles said via his Twitter account.

Capriles has accused Chavez of using state institutions to tilt the Oct 7 election in his own favour, from giving supporters cash and apartments, to using state media to glorify his image.

Government officials dismiss those charges, saying the social programmes are aimed at helping the poorest, not buying votes.

Chavez says he only uses “chain” broadcasts for state business, not to boost his re-election campaign, but they often last for hours, during which he usually berates his opponents.

Local broadcasters in the South American nation are forced to halt their programming to carry the speeches, although the system was originally designed for brief emergency messages.

After Capriles was told his rally had been taken off the air, he told the crowd: “My friends, people are allowed to be afraid if they want.”
Supporters responded with thunderous applause. The rest of Capriles’ speech was screened by opposition TV station Globovision after Chavez finished talking.
The election campaign was already drowning in a flood of accusations and insults. Just days earlier, Capriles fired a top aide who had been seen accepting an envelope of cash in a video made public by Chavez’s allies.

Chavez remains popular in the OPEC nation after 14 years in power, thanks largely to his self-styled revolution’s liberal spending of oil revenue on social programmes ranging from free health clinics to subsidized supermarkets.

He leads the election race in most of the best-known polls, which are notoriously controversial and divergent in Venezuela. One major polling firm has Capriles ahead and his numbers have been edging up.

Chavez spoke for almost two hours yesterday at a school inauguration about how education has improved under his government. During the broadcast, several children thanked him for giving them laptops and ensuring access to education.

“Chavez, you are the heart of the people,” said one toddler, echoing the government’s principal campaign slogan.

Latest in Regional News

default placeholder

Panama opens canal extension amid growth risks, cost battle

PANAMA CITY, (Reuters) – Panama opened the long-delayed $5.4 billion expansion of its shipping canal amid cheering crowds yesterday, despite looming economic uncertainty in the shipping industry and a heated battle over billions in cost overruns.

default placeholder

Brazil firm fired from T&T highway project

(Trinidad Express) Brazilian firm Construtora OAS has been fired from the $7 billion Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin. But even in the face of harsh criticism from Government, the embattled company is fighting back to defend its work on the stalled project and denying it abandoned the massive highway extension.

default placeholder

One dead, three hurt in T&T drive-by shooting

(Trinidad Express) Four people liming roadside near a birthday celebration were shot in a drive by attack in Carapichaima on Saturday.

default placeholder

Brazil’s Temer says women should retire earlier than men – paper

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer told local newspapers women should retire earlier than men, explaining why he did not support making a potential minimum retirement age equal for both sexes as his government tackles pension reform.

default placeholder

Barbados Education Minister deplores pricey graduation ceremonies

(Barbados Nation) Barbados’ Minister of Education Ronald Jones has rapped primary school principals for expensive graduation ceremonies that are unaffordable to some parents and forcing others to dig deep into their pockets.

default placeholder

Could Brexit vote be a preview of U.S. presidential race?

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – Britain’s stunning vote to leave the European Union, buoyed by a frenzy of nationalism and populist anger, was a crushing rejection of the political elite.

default placeholder

Venezuela dialogue could open way for international help – U.S. diplomat

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition could provide a platform from which they could request help from the international community, U.S.

President Anthony Carmona receives the report of the commission of enquiry into Clico from secretary to the commission, Judith Gonzales, at the Office of the President, St Ann's, yesterday.

Colman report knocks T&T Central Bank in Clico, HCU fiasco

(Trinidad Guardian) Deficiency in the Central Bank’s regulatory control of the insurance industry and the respective “visions” of CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey and Hindu Credit Union chairman Harry Harnarine have come in for criticism by chairman of the Clico/HCU commission of enquiry, Sir Anthony Colman.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: