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Venezuela: PM update on the rally

By Daniel Duquenal

14/02/2004 - Not marching does have its advantage: you get to see how desperate the government is and what cheats it does contain. After going out to do my week-end shopping and get the papers, I sat down to lunch while watching how the marches were doing. Definitely two visions: the VTV, government held vision, and the others. Let's start with the others.

Venevision and RCTV do keep on their regular programming, but every 30 minutes or less they have an update as to the unfolding of the marches, with perspective shots, interviews and news. Globovision which is our all news network of course is following the march all along but not as well, or clearly (image wise) as before since the government has seized, illegally, their microwave system of transmission. Yet through the internet and other wireless systems the news flow.

VTV is quite another story. Their screen is split into two: one side the opposition march and on the other the Megamercado on Bolivar Avenue. The "bad" side shows a semi still shot of an intersection on the Western side of Caracas from where 2 (or is it 1, I do not know as I did not get the final routing of the 6 marches) of the marches will arrive. It is important to stress that the site is well chosen as the two (one?) marches coming will be the one with the smallest contingent, coming from areas erstwhile strongly pro Chavez and that still do show significant support. Sure enough, you can see, from the far away camera, groups of people advancing but not the tight march as you can see elsewhere coming from the East.

The other side of the screen, the "good" side is a still camera smack in Avenida Bolivar. People are filmed from very close and are strangely static, as watching a big screen or listening to some speaker. In the far background there is some market activity, the megamercado.

Now, do they think that their audience is that dumb? Even if the images from one side are from far away and people look small (and fewer because small) they are marching and groups of people constantly are entering the visual field and leaving it. How can a close up of perhaps a couple of hundred of people can convey the message that the megamercado is bigger than any march the opposition is holding?

And speaking of the Megamercado on Bolivar Avenue. Venevision did show the National Guard barrage so as to stop any crazy idea that the opposition would try to go through the Avenida Bolivar megamercado to reach the CNE. You could see scores of guards armed to the teeth and at least a dozen small tanks. Plus barbed wire and other paraphernalia. And of course nobody in sight. Can you say paranoia?

Anyway, it seems that the six marches have been a great success and peaceful, no harm done (so far anyway at 2 PM our time).

Just a little pic from Globovision, the best I could find in the Internet, and of course an angle that is ignored from VTV. You can see why.

Image taken about half a mile before the point where the permanent pics of this blog were taken in January 2003. Direction towards downtown, the Botanical Garden. Thus the grainy image of the crowded bridge can be given a sense of how many people are by looking at the close ups from a previous march to your right.

PS: VTV Internet side is down today. I wonder why.


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