Luis Chataing answered a few questions yesterday regarding his show’s cancellation by Televen two days ago:

When did Televen being censuring [programs]?
At the beginning of the year, when the negotiations to renew the broadcast permit began. There was an initial push then, and I committed myself to have a bit of tact when talking about president Nicolas Maduro. So I said, ‘Well, it’s going to take wits to keep talking about the same things without censuring myself”.

Would you say that your program became more political starting on February 12 [when the protests started]?
No, it was always political. It’s just as the only little open window on television, starting on February 12, I felt obligated to take a step forward and send out certain messages with the seriousness and conviction that was required, always looking for common ground, and raising my voice against any abuse.

You simply informed through humour and you’ve been taken off the air. What’s left for other entertainers and for the average citizen?
We need to react and defend our spaces of communication. We need to ask that they open up new spaces. We need to keep our guard up against abuses like this, because they closed RCTV and nothing happened, they changed Globovision into an empty shell and nothing happened.

Is social media enough?
Not at all. Whoever says, “At least we have Twitter” is tightening their own noose. Twitter is a tool to connect, but it’s also a tool for dirty tactics and rumours, false positives, and a lot of other things one doesn’t understand and end up making a mess of things.

Would you saw that #LaSalida radicalized the government?
I think it was Maria Corina Machado and Leopolo Lopez’s conduct along with a strategy they had, and the government is reacting to that. Now it’s up to us Venezuelans – based on what we read, live and feel – to react in another way. There are a lot of shortcomings to hide, a lot to conceal by those who govern. The World Cup feels like it was ordered by the government to detract attention. My firing also worked for them, even for just one day.

Did you support #LaSalida?
I didn’t agree with it because I always thought there would be people who would misinterpret it.

Do you support the dialogue?
I support peaceful protest and to mount pressure in other ways, with good sense and within the framework of the Constitution, to force the government to really sit down and talk.

Does it look like these attempts to dialogue between the government and the MUD cooled things off on the streets?
I see it as a conventional way of negotiating in which a group of familiar faces from the opposition gave a magnificent debate on the first chance they got, and that never happened again so one must ask, “Why not?” Because it definitively scored more goals for the opposition. What happened with that? Nothing.

You invited Hugo Chavez to come on your show and he never did, neither did Nicolas Maduro. What would you have asked them?
I sent them a different question every night through e-mail. For example, “Why does the army have to be Chavista? Where in the Constitution does it say that?”

What were the ratings for ChataingTV that made it so dangerous?
It was doing well. We had 53% or 54% of the [market] share, on top of three clients.

Has Roque Valero expressed his solidarity with you?
Neither Roque nor Winston Vallenila nor “El Potro” Alvarez.

What’s new for Luis Chataing?
I’ll stick with my shows. I have my first show in the BOD tonight. I have my five hour long radio show. Thank God I have a lot of things to talk about. I’m not the type to throw a tantrum on the floor, I’m already moving ahead.

Inflation Rose 23% in Five Months

The Banco Central de Venezuela announced today that the inflation rate for the first five months of 2014 sat at 23%. April and May both had 5.7% inflation rates. The annualized rate of inflation – the projected total for the year- now sits at 60.9%. During that same period of time, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 6.4%.

Finally, some pictures from around the country.

A tire fire in northern Valencia:

Men setting fire to a barricade in Ciudad Guayana:

Tear gas deployed against demonstrators in Chacao. Form this evening:

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