Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06CARACAS2279
2006-08-02 22:29:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Caracas
Cable title:  

NO SURPRISE ON CNE'S CAMPAIGN ADVERTISING AND

Tags:  PGOV KDEM VE 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO8712
PP RUEHAG
DE RUEHCV #2279/01 2142229
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 022229Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
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INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 6851
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 5676
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RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ PRIORITY 2235
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 0483
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA PRIORITY 1382
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 3932
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RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
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RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0895
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CARACAS 002279 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

HQSOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
DEPT PASS TO AID/OTI RPORTER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/15/2016
TAGS: PGOV KDEM VE
SUBJECT: NO SURPRISE ON CNE'S CAMPAIGN ADVERTISING AND
PUBLICITY RULES

REF: CARACAS 001662

CARACAS 00002279 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: ACTING DCM ROBERT R. DOWNES FOR REASON 1.4 (D)

-------
Summary
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CARACAS 002279

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

HQSOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
DEPT PASS TO AID/OTI RPORTER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/15/2016
TAGS: PGOV KDEM VE
SUBJECT: NO SURPRISE ON CNE'S CAMPAIGN ADVERTISING AND
PUBLICITY RULES

REF: CARACAS 001662

CARACAS 00002279 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: ACTING DCM ROBERT R. DOWNES FOR REASON 1.4 (D)

--------------
Summary
--------------


1. (C) The National Electoral Council announced on July 31
the regulations that will govern campaign publicity and
advertising for during the presidential campaign period. The
new regulations do not limit Chavez,s weekly Alo Presidente
television address, nor will they restrict his use of
"cadenas nacionales," which pre-empt normal broadcasts,
despite opposition requests to the contrary. The CNE's
decision is additional evidence that it will follow the
practices of its predecessor. There seems to be little hope
for real improvement in electoral conditions prior to the
December presidential elections. End Summary.

--------------
CAMPAIGN RULES APPROVED
--------------


2. (C) National Electoral Council (CNE) President Tibisay
Lucena announced on July 31 the regulations that will govern
campaign publicity and advertising for both government
officials and opposition candidates during the presidential
campaign period, which started August 1 and runs through
December 1. Only one member of the pro-Chavez electoral
board voted against the advertising regulations, and Lucena
indicated the CNE would present the full, and presumably
final, set of campaign rules by August 5.


3. (C) The regulations stipulate that candidates, political
organizations, and voting groups can contract with regional
and national public television service providers for a
maximum of two minutes per day, two minutes per day with
private television providers, and, in radio, up to four
minutes daily. The CNE will also provide each group up to
six minutes of its allotted time for a national cadena on
radio and television. The same groups can obtain up to half
a page daily in standard-sized newspapers and up to a full
page in a magazine-sized publication. The regulations also
prohibit campaigning outside of the designated campaign
period and any efforts to discourage voters from
participating in the election. Lucena indicated that

compliance with the norms will be monitored by 78 electoral
overseers, two per state and 18 at the national level, and
failure to adhere to the failure will result in fines.

--------------
CHALK ONE UP FOR CHAVEZ
--------------

4. (C) The new regulations do not limit Chavez,s weekly
Alo Presidente television address, nor will they restrict his
use of "cadenas nacionales," broadcasts local stations are
required to carry, despite Lucena,s assurances that the
regulations are targeted toward monitoring the behavior of
government officials involved in the campaign. Lucena
defended the decision by claiming that these broadcasts are
part of Chavez,s work as President and not related to his
presidential bid. Vicente Diaz, the only CNE director to
vote against the regulations and the only pro-opposition
member of the CNE board, had recommended that the programs be
suspended, and Sumate last week criticized the then-proposed
rules for not regulating the presidential broadcasts and thus
giving Chavez the advantage of promoting his accomplishments
using government resources.


CARACAS 00002279 002.2 OF 002



5. (C) Continued and unrestricted access to his weekly
address and cadenas will be a potent campaign tool for
Chavez. As reported in ref a, Chavez,s use of public and
private broadcasting to tout his social programs and attack
the opposition gives his campaign an unusual advantage, and
he is currently on track this year to break his annual
records for airtime spent "en cadena" and in Alo Presidente.

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OPPOSITION RESPONSE
--------------


6. (C) The opposition has criticized the new regulations,
claiming they do not level the electoral campaign playing
field and clearly favor the government. Opposition
presidential candidate Julio Borges said that the CNE's
decision is evidence that the BRV is "afraid of losing the
cadenas and Alo Presidente," while fellow opposition
contender Teodoro Petkoff argued that it continues to allow
Chavez to use government resources to run his campaign.
Roberto Smith, yet another opposition presidential hopeful,
proposed that, as a result of the decision, each candidate
should have the right to a six hour program on Sundays, or
have access to every public station.

--------------
COMMENT
--------------


7. (C) The CNE,s most recent decision is more evidence
that it will continue the pro-government activities of with
its predecessor. Once again, the single opposition CNE board
member has been marginalized. As the CNE debates other
campaign conditions and rules, such as finance regulations
and the use of fingerprint machines, there seems to be little
hope for real improvement in electoral conditions prior to
the December presidential elections.
BROWNFIELD