The 20 lies about Chávez' "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
By Arquímedes Espinoza
This movie, now being exhibited under different titles such as “The Revolution
Will not be Televised”, “Chávez Inside the Coup” or
“Chávez The film” is a propaganda film designed to twist
the Venezuelan reality. The authors of this film succeeded playing on the good
faith and the sponsorship of serious and well known organizations such as the
BBC, RTE, ZDF and Arte to broadcast it in film festivals and to project it all
over the world like a journalistic documentary.
The 20 lies of this movie are as follows:
1) The images where people appear singing, musical groups and children supposedly
in front of the Presidential Palace of Miraflores on the morning of April 11,
2002, correspond to another city in Venezuela. That day, there was not such
a spectacle; people were only called aggressively to “defend the Revolution”.
2) The concentration of the opposition in Chuao, in the eastern part of the
city, was formed by people of all city areas, including women, elder people,
children and even handicapped people. In no case were there armed or aggressive
people like the movie pretends to show.
3) The filmmakers ignored the radio and television “obligatory presentation”
of President Chávez on April 11, between 3:45 and 5:27 pm, during which
21 Venezuelans were killed and more than 150 were wounded in the surroundings
of the Presidential Palace. These “presentations”, that are very
rare in other countries (Chávez used them 31 times between April 8 and
11, 2002), consist in commandeering all the open signal TV channels and all
radio stations, FM as well as AM, to join the state channel and broadcast the
same content. However, in the film, it is said that President Chávez
only has the chance of speaking through the state owned channel.
4) In the middle of the “presentation”, all private channels, protected
by article 58 of the Venezuelan Constitution, which grants the right of “timely
and truthful information”, decided to split the screen in two parts in
order to be able to show the tragic events that were happening. Immediately
thereafter, the government jammed he signals of the private channels in an action
that requires a series of legal actions and technical arrangements to be executed,
which were never observed.
5) During the President's TV and radio speech that is not mentioned, the victims
generated by the government supporting groups and by members of military forces
were not shown shooting and there is little reference between them and the snipers
posted on Miraflores bordering buildings, the access to which is restricted
to the presidential guardianship in emergency situations like those occurring
on April 11.
6) In the film, the producers insist on the thesis that the President never
resigned office. However, the military high command, lead by then main military
officer, Lucas Rincón, and current Secretary for Domestic Affairs of
Chávez, stated on a radio and TV broadcast a little after midnight on
April 12, that “... (the) President was requested to resign office, which
he agreed to”. This singular event, known by all Venezuelans and of undeniable
importance in the reconstruction of the events of that day, was simply ignored
by the filmmakers in order induce the idea of a classical “coup d’état”.
7) Regarding the case of the Llaguno Bridge, where the famous images of a group
of Chávez supporters shooting to the place where the opposition rally
was passing by were taken (the journalistic team that took the images was awarded
the King of Spain’s Journalism Prize for this report), the film backed
up the government version that these people were not shooting at any rally and
for this, film makers used images from an amateur video different from those
used by the journalistic team that won the prize in Spain. In this second video,
the avenue underneath the bridge is completely empty, without persons or rally
walking and no person shooting from the bridge. Using a procedure similar to
the ancient sun dials, it can be shown by the shadows of the buildings that
the images were taken from about 1:00 to 1:30 in the afternoon, when the opposition
rally was not even near that location, while the images taken by the prize-winning
journalists were taken between 4:30 and 5:00 in the afternoon, when the tragic
events were indeed happening.
8) The film says that the signal of the state owned TV station was cut on April
11 by the “coup mongers” and even showed the effect of a noise interrupted
TV image. All Venezuelans know that on the night of April 11, 2002, the managers
of the state owned station Venezolana de Televisión Channel 8 themselves,
ended the broadcast and peacefully left the facilities. The doors of Channel
8 remained open and its facilities empty for almost an hour, until a group of
reporters of the Globovision news station entered the place and showed us all
the studios, offices and technical centers totally deserted. Later, a group
of officers of the Miranda State Police (the Venezuelan state where Channel
8 is situated) arrived in order to protect the facilities and equipment.
9) In the aforementioned images, scenes are reconstructed with the participation
of high officers of the Chávez’ government “acting”
what was actually happening in Channel 8. This resource, which can be considered
to be adequate under certain rules and circumstances in certain ethnographic
and educational documentaries, is completely anti-ethical in a documentary that
is presented as a truthful version of historical events; because the filmmakers
never forewarned that they are creating a “staging”.
10) Certain images were presented as if they occurred before April 11, 2002,
while they were made 3 months later. This is the case of a neighbors meeting
held in June 2002, with the aim of preparing defensive actions in view of the
threats made by the government through its “Bolivarian Circles”
(groups of aggressive militants of the government’s party who frequently
attack the public opposition demonstrations with stones, sticks and even gunshots)
of attacking the housing estates of Caracas where the opposition predominates.
This meeting, recorded without any written consent, portrays a group of mostly
women, receiving self-defense training from a voluntary instructor in order
to learn to defend themselves – in June 2002- from a presumed attack by
the government supporting groups. However, the scene was edited and presented
as if happening in February 2002 as a part of the opposition arrangements to
march and attack Miraflores on April 11, 2002.
11) The film shows the Venezuelan crisis as a as a confrontation between a white
and corrupt privileged minority, and a black or mixed-blood, poor, healthy and
happy majority, defended by President Chávez. This simplified scheme,
which otherwise corresponds to the political and diplomatic speech of the government
in all international forums, constitutes a shameful misrepresentation of the
history, the sociology and the political present condition of Venezuela. The
filmmakers barely investigated on this reality, without deepening in it, thereby
producing a rather biased, superficial, and to a great extent, untruthful document,
wherein no European (Spaniard, Italian, Portuguese), Arab, Asian and Latin American
immigrants, who came to Venezuela and were integrated therein, in the most diverse
productive sectors: industry, commerce, arts, etc. appeared.
12) This diverse, plural and multitudinous condition of those who in Venezuela
democratically oppose President Chávez, was completely ignored by the
filmmakers. If this were a question of a real research documentary – as
prestigious TV chains like BBC, ZDF, RTE, Arte y NPS should demand – the
film should have shown the amplitude and variety of this opposing sector, constituted,
among others, by the most important writers, artists, scientists, thinkers,
jurists and professionals of the country, as well as millions of men and women
of the working class, poor people who believed in Chávez and have been
disappointed by his appalling government.
13) Filmmakers Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain preferred to reduce the
Venezuelan opposition to the false image of a group of rich women, worried about
their privileges. They omitted the gigantic opposition rallies, the magnitude
of which has astonished the whole world since last year. If they had included
them, they would have shown the ethnic and social diversity present during these
demonstrations, with a predominance of mixed-blood people and poor people. Those
presumed “rich ladies” are Venezuelan women who have fought for
three years a beautiful and brave democratic battle in the streets of Venezuela,
even though they have been several times attacked and humiliated by the mercenary
bands of the government and the very armed forces. In this battle, they have
been accompanied by people of all socioeconomic strata, because the political
problem in Venezuela is not the consequence of a class confrontation, as the
government spreads, and this documentary shows, but a struggle between democracy
and a blossoming dictatorship.
14) The filmmakers were very careful when selecting the images of popular support
to Chávez in Caracas (at the beginning of the documentary); they used
takes from February 2000, when the support was undeniable, enthusiastic and
massive; and to show the opposition rallies, the filmmakers used only closed
takes of few white skinned people and wealthy appearance, avoiding open frames.
However, these images of government supporting rallies are no longer easy to
obtain, because these rallies are currently reduced and unenthusiastic, attended
for the most part by only a few spontaneous assistants and government workers
who are forced to attend. The filmmakers tell the viewers: “this is an
accurate narration, with its clearly indicated days and hours.”
15) The armored cars (tanks) shown at the beginning of the film suggesting that
they were a part of the military component that participated in the “oligarch
coup d’état supported by the USA”, were never used against
the President and his government. Their presence was the result of a plan, called
Plan Ávila, ordered by Chávez himself, which was partially obeyed
and amply repudiated by the high military command, because it was about a display
of war weapons intended to be used against civilian demonstrators that were
marching on April 11 to the Palace of Miraflores.
16) The film tells us unequivocally: “while Carmona pronounced his inauguration
speech, two blocks away the police was hitting and shooting against the people...”
(there is even “voice over” of Carmona on the images of repression).
This is false. On April 12, Caracas was normal; the only street demonstrations
were made by some exalted opposition members in front of the Embassy of Cuba
and in front of the houses of two or three leaders of Chávez government.
It is truth that small government supporting groups posted themselves in the
vicinity of the presidential palace on the afternoon of April 12, without disturbing
the peace. The scenes shown by the film of policemen dispersing demonstrators
certainly happened on the morning of April 13. This disarrangement of times
can not be considered to be an innocent film mistake, as it leads to totally
erroneous conclusions regarding what happened in Venezuela those days.
17) When mentioning the workers and business organizations opposing the government,
the film only mentions initials that have no meaning abroad; it never talks
about the main national labor union or the largest business association grouping
all the business chambers of the country.
18) During the events after April 11, the film mentions a deliberate absence
of news, but it does not talk about the news of events broadcast by TV stations,
as well as the threats and attacks suffered by media during those days.
19) In the film it is falsely stated that the soldiers rebelling against the
events of April 11, traveled abroad once the President was brought back to office,
but the film does not mention the long trials these military officers were submitted
to and that they were later absolved by the Supreme Court from the charges of
coup d’état that were pressed by the government.
20) Mister Andrés Izarra, the main witness of the film against the private
TV media, is now a high ranked officer in the Embassy of Venezuela in the USA.
Izarra is the son of Commander William Izarra, a conspirator mate of Hugo Chávez
during more than 10 years in the heart of the Venezuelan Armed Forces and current
Ideology Director of the government party.
© by Vcrisis.com & the author