El Nacional reports today that since coming to power in April 2013, Maduro has gone on cadena 236 times for a total of 334 hours. So far this year, Maduro has called 29 cadenas, and spoken for a total of 43 hours and 26 minutes.
In Venezuela, a cadena [literally, “chain”] can be called by the president at any time. When a cadena is called, every television and radio station broadcasting from the country must interrupt its regular programming and carry the government broadcast for as long as the president wants. A cadena can also be called to broadcast transmissions that, while not featuring Maduro, are still deemed important by the government, such as announcements by ministries.
El Nacional tallied the following cadenas featuring Maduro for the current year so far:
- January: 4 cadenas for a total of 7 hours and 24 minutes.
- February: 11 cadenas for a total of 16 hours and 12 minutes.
- March: 14 cadenas for a total of 19 hours and 50 minutes.
The increase in cadenas in March is largely attributed to the government’s response to the United States sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials, an issue which has preoccupied Maduro since it was announced.
El Nacional calculated that out of the 14 cadenas in March, seven dealt with political/diplomatic issues; two were called to “honour Chavez”, while only one was called to discuss economic issues.
SEBIN Thanks Citizens for Support
The Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional [SEBIN], the country’s intelligence agency, presented its yearly report looking back at 2014 earlier this week before the National Assembly. In the report, the agency recognizes that last year saw tremendous challenges for the government, and thanked citizens – specifically the poor – for playing their role in helping to maintain order in the country.
The actions undertaken by this agency in support of the Venezuelan people put to the test the character and loyalty of the clases populares [the poor] as bastions of the Bolivarian revolution, through the carrying out of joint efforts involving the exchanging of information which allowed us to carry out our work in different scenarios.
The report qualified the protests that spread throughout the country last year as “subversive and terrorist” acts organized by:
… pseudo-leaders who are against progress with the goal of creating chaos.
Moreover, the agency claims that the protests were directly responsible for the economic crisis affecting Venezuela today, and set as its goal for 2015 the deployment of “anti-subversive” units throughout the country to help quell further unrest.
Economist: Crisis Not Yet “At its Worse”
Economist Juan Vicente Leon answered questions from a reporter with Finanzas Digital and had dire words for Venezuelans. In his opinion, the economic crisis in the country is likely to intensify. Leon said:
The crisis is not yet at its worse. The deterioration in quality of life will continue to affect the lives of Venezuelans.
When asked for his economic predictions for 2015 were, Leon said that inflation would reach “3 digits” this year, echoing comments made by Jose Guerra yesterday, who estimated the 2015 inflation rate to hit the 110-120% range.
Leon is the president of Datanalisis, and is a professor at the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello and the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion.
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