You may have heard about the new program, “Suddenly Chavez,” which Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is using to commander the nation’s radio stations whenever he feels the whim. Now, the UK’s Guardian newspaper has explained why Chavez has chosen this route.
It seems fewer and fewer Venezuelans have been tuning into Chavez’s long-running Sunday radio and TV show, “Alo Presidente,” which starts at 11:00 am and lasts up to eight hours. Go figure.
With his new radio show, Chavez can take control of the radio airwaves without warning. A few notes sound on a harp and listeners are suddenly subjected to yet another rant by the Socialist ruler of their country. So, while Venezuelans could easily avoid the Sunday show, they at least have to hear the opening of “Suddenly Chavez” before switching it off. Changing stations won’t help, since he will be on all of them. So, the audience is trapped.
As you’ve probably guessed, legislative elections are coming. Despite his efforts to marginalize all other parties, Chavez does have to still deal with elections and he is desperately trying to win back former supporters who have become dismayed by the deterioration of the country under Chavez, with crime on the rise, inflation on the rise, and public services crumbling.
If nothing else, “Suddenly Chavez” gives him a megaphone which is denied to his opponents.