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Minister Chac?n: Some opposition groups want to distort the electoral atmosphere

The Minister of People’s Power for Communication and Information thinks that opposition groups are trying to create a climate of destabilization to sully the referendum for the constitutional amendment.

“We are in the midst of a generation of violence that distorts the atmosphere,” affirmed Jesse Chacón, Minister of People’s Power for Communication and Information, in referring to recent actions, by a small group of students, that do not benefit Venezuelan society.

Minister Chacón clarified that although there has been talk of police agencies using rubber bullets, currently not one student has been hurt.  On the contrary, the only injuries have been suffered by members of government security agencies.

He emphasized that no Venezuelan wants a return to the events of 2002 or 2003, which is why it is necessary “to categorically reject violence from this small group of youths, or from any other group.”

“Why is there no report in the media about a police officer injured by a fire arm?” questioned the Minister.  For him, the answer is that the private media contribute to the systematization of the lie in order to present the government as a repressor.   Chacón called on representatives from the journalist’s guild to report objectively to maintain a peaceful climate.  “Let us work on giving Venezuelans true information,” he urged.

The Minister explained that manipulation by the media was evident when a group of students from the Metropolitan University (Unimet) burned part of Waraira Repano National Park (located to the north of Caracas).  “What was the headline in the media?  That it was a lie.  That there was no fire,” he affirmed.

In response to declarations by Luis Moreno, Dean of the Unimet who assured that the fire was not in the so-called ‘lung of Caracas’, the Minister said that the fire was indeed set inside of the park.  “Everything you see above Boyacá Avenue is the Ávila [a forest mountain in Caracas], the thing is that the Unimet is on the Ávila,” said Chacón.

Minister Chacón also said that if Cecilia Arocha, Dean of the Central University of Caracas, believes that they are not Unimet students, “well the pictures are there and security agencies will have to continue investigating.”

The Minister was referring to Tuesday’s events in Brión de Chacaito Plaza, where an unauthorized demonstration took place and a truck, loaded with gasoline and Molotov cocktails, was stopped by the police.

He then noted that a private television channel broadcast a statement from a student at Santa María University who claimed that she saw a group of police officers load a truck with explosives in Maripérez (a Caracas neighborhood).

“This woman is lying.  The truth is that the truck was stopped at four in the afternoon close to the student demonstration.  Why does Globovisión not go and find their pictures and contrast them with what the student is saying?” questioned Minister Chacón.

Chacón reiterated that these actions are an attempt “to distort the climate ahead of February 15th [the day of the referendum].  We must have a discussion of ideas and the media should help in fostering this.”

The Minister made these remarks on Wednesday during an interview with journalist Eduardo Rodríguez on “Entrevista Meridiana”, a program broadcast by Venevisión.

Ministry of People’s Power for Communication and Information, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office/January 21, 2009

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