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TuesdaySeptember 18, 2012

Latino Daily News: Bringing You the Latest Hispanic Current Events and News Stories 24/7

To reflect the dynamic interests of our audience, Latino Daily News is an online daily news source and virtual cultural center for and about Latinos. We offer the latest news headlines, as well as innovative and insightful Hispanic current events stories, photos, videos, and commentaries from a Latino perspective, 24/7.

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Mexico Commemorates Bicentennial with 1-kilo Gold Coin

Mexico Commemorates Bicentennial with 1-kilo Gold Coin

Photo: Mexicos bicentennial gold coin

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Mexico’ central bank on Monday brought into circulation the country’s first 1-kilo gold commemorative coin, with features alluding to this month’s 202nd anniversary of Mexican national independence.

The Banco de Mexico announced in a communique that the coin has a nominal value of 200 pesos ($15.65) but did not say what its sales price will be, although bank officials said that the price will be regulated in accord with the international price of gold.

Gold was trading Monday in a range of $23,585 per kilo (2.2 pounds) for 10K purity to $56,559 for 24K.

The coin has a diameter of 90 millimeters (about 3.5 inches) and around its edge the inscription “Independencia y Libertad” (Independence and Liberty) is engraved. The front of the coin bears the national coat of arms in relief in the center surrounded in a semi-circle with the words “Estados Unidos Mexicanos” (United States of Mexico).

Surrounding that, and following the coin’s circumference are the “reproduction(s) of different coats of arms used throughout Mexico’s history, as well as the eagle that is found in the center of the first page of the Codex Mendoza,” a 16th-century Aztec codex containing a history of Aztec rulers, a list of the tribute paid by conquered peoples and a description of daily Aztec life.

The “Bicentennial” coin will be issued in limited numbers and will go on sale to the public through financial institutions.

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Fidel’s Son Says Castro is “Lucid and Working Hard”

Fidel’s Son Says Castro is “Lucid and Working Hard”

Photo: Fidel's Son Says Castro is "Lucid and Working Hard"

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The eldest son of former Cuban President Fidel Castro told Efe on Monday that his father is “lucid and working hard,” despite having made no public appearance for several months.

“You’ve seen his message from the other day to (Venezuelan) President (Hugo) Chavez - as always, he’s lucid and working hard,” Fidel Castro Diaz Balart said.

He was referring to a message his father sent Chavez and which the Venezuelan leader read over the phone on Sept. 10 during a press conference of his party.

In the message, Fidel Castro said that people who support the Venezuelan president deserve “to enjoy” his victory in the Oct. 7 election and hailed Chavez’s “iron will.”

Fidel Castro, 86, was taken ill in 2006 and delegated power to younger brother Raul Castro, who formally assumed the presidency in 2008.

The elder Castro has retired from public life and since June has not published his famous “Reflections,” press articles that he began writing during his convalescence.

In August, a pro-government blog denied stories circulating on the Internet about the state of his health and said that Castro is working on a book with Chavez.

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ABC Family Orders Pilot for Adaptation of Mexican Drama ‘Terminales’

ABC Family Orders Pilot for Adaptation of Mexican Drama ‘Terminales’

Photo: ABC Family Orders Pilot for Adaptation of Mexican Drama 'Terminales'

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ABC Family has reportedly ordered three pilots, among them an adaptation of a popular Mexican drama series.

Terminales, which was created and produced by Miguel Angel Fox, was a 13-episode Televisa show that ran from 2008 to 2009.

Terminales is a one-hour drama based on a successful Mexican television format by Miguel Angel Fox and follows a young woman’s life after she is diagnosed with a terminal illness. The pilot was written by Susanna Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz. Aaron Kaplan (GCB, The Neighbors, Terra Nova), Fogel and Lefkowitz will serve as executive producers. It will be produced by Lionsgate in association with Televisa.

“ABC Family is synonymous with groundbreaking dramas, and this summer we found additional strength with our comedy lineup. These pilots will further our strength in both areas and add to our existing slate,” said Kate Juergens, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and Development, ABC Family. “In fact, over the past few years, the network launched the #1 new basic cable series in target demos with ‘Pretty Little Liars’ in Summer 2010 and ‘Switched at Birth’ in Summer 2011, and launched the #1 new cable comedy of Summer 2012 with ‘Baby Daddy.’ It’s a trend we are working to continue.”

The other two pilots are for Phys Ed and Continuing Fred. All three pilots will go into production this fall along with the previously announced drama pilots The Fosters (working title), from executive producer Jennifer Lopez, and Socio, from executive producer Gavin Polone.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho to Have Show on You Tube (VIDEO)

Puerto Rican Boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho to Have Show on You Tube (VIDEO)

Photo: Puerto Rican boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho

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Former Puerto Rican boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho will have his own program on YouTube’s NuevOn channel on which his fans will be able to follow the ex-pugilist as he looks for a new love, his representatives said Tuesday.

“Es…Macho Time,” filmed in Puerto Rico, Miami and Las Vegas, will follow the adventures of the boxer during the process of finding the woman of his dreams.

Camacho acknowledges that the road toward finding a new love is long, but he says that he is committed to doing what is necessary to correct the mistakes of the past that have prevented him from finding that special someone, his publicist said in a statement.

The boxer became the first Puerto Rican to win the lightweight division titles of the World Boxing Council and the World Boxing Organization, and he won 79 of his 87 bouts, 38 of them by knockout.

Two of his most important victories were against Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard.

“Es…Macho Time” is one of the new programs for the second season of NuevOn, which was launched on April 1 and features shows such as the one starring the son of Sofia Vergara, “Mi vida con Toty,” and the motivational show “Yes you can with Chaban,” hosted by artist Alejandro Chaban.

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LATINO BLOTTER: Third South Texas Man Convicted in Case of Enticing a Minor

LATINO BLOTTER: Third South Texas Man Convicted in Case of Enticing a Minor

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A south Texas man pleaded guilty Monday to enticing a minor announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of the Pharr Police Department.

Teofanes Salas-Campos, 40, of Mission, Texas, entered his plea on Sept. 17 before U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane.

According to court documents, in April a Pharr Police Department investigator contacted HSI special agents concerning the solicitation of a minor for sexual purposes. Special agents recovered a cell phone that was being used by a 14-year-old minor to receive messages from adult males requesting sexual encounters in exchange for money. Posing as the minor, special agents began conversing with the unknown males via cell phone text messages.

During this investigation three men were arrested and subsequently charged with the federal offense of enticing a minor; all have now been convicted. The following two Mexican nationals have also pleaded guilty: Felipe de Jesus Ponce-Torres, 24, and Jose Luis Garica-Saldivar.

During the re-arraignment on these cases, each of these defendants admitted to intending to have sex with an individual whom they believed was a minor, and that they were going to pay the minor between $80 and $100.

Salas-Campos will be sentenced Nov. 26, while Ponce-Torres and Garica-Saldivar will be sentenced Nov. 21 and Dec. 10, respectively.

They all face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a maximum $250,000 fine. They will each also be required to register as a sex offender.

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Niece Who Claimed Aunt Abused Her and Sister 15 Years Ago Now Says it Never Happened

Niece Who Claimed Aunt Abused Her and Sister 15 Years Ago Now Says it Never Happened

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After 15 years in prison, a San Antonio woman may soon be freed after her niece, who alleged she was sexual abused by the woman, says she made up the abuse story.

In 1994, then 20-year-old Elizabeth Ramirez was accused of sexually abusing her nieces, who were 7 and 9.

According to court documents, Ramirez and her friends Anna Vasquez, Kristie Mayhugh, and Cassandra Rivera, were drinking and smoking pot when they held the two young girls down and sexually assaulted them with various small objects, after which, they reportedly threatened to kill the girls.

Ramirez was determined to be the ringleader and was charged with aggravated sexual assault. In 1997, she was sentenced to 37 years and 6 months in prison. The other three women were sentenced in 1998 and given 15 years in prison each.

Ramirez, Mayhugh, Vasquez, and Rivera have always maintained they did not assault Ramirez’ nieces.

Homophobia was believed to have played a major part in the allegations, as all four women are lesbians. It was pointed out that none of the women had mental health problems or any criminal record.

Ramirez was reportedly being pursued by her brother-in-law, the father of her nieces. She claimed she had rejected his advances.

The complaint against Ramirez and her friends came after the nieces, who had spent a week with Ramirez, returned to their parents. The complaint alleged Ramirez and her friends gang-raped the little girls over a two-day period in a sadistic, ritualistic manner. The man had previously made at least one complaint against others for allegedly sexually abusing his daughters, allegations that were not validated by authorities.

No physical or corroborating evidence was brought against the women during their respective trials, only the statements of the girls.

Now, one of the girls, Stephanie, 25, has come forward saying the allegations against her aunt and the other women were false.

Stephanie recently spoke with San Antonio Express-News, saying, ‘I want my aunt and her friends out of prison. Whatever it takes to get them out I’m going to do. I can’t live my life knowing that four women are sleeping in a cage because of me.”

The niece says her recant has ruined here relationship with her sister, but that whenever she looked back at the days they were supposedly abused by Ramirez, she can’t actually remember any abuse or anything out of the ordinary.

Though Stephanie’s recant may help the incarcerated women’s cases, it still does not guarantee their freedom. In fact, should the case go back to trial, the three friends serving 15 years may see their scheduled release come before the end of a re-trial. For Ramirez however, being exonerated would mean she could be out before she turns 60, which is when she is scheduled for release.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green Taking Break from ‘The Voice’ - Shakira, Usher Step in for Season 4

Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green Taking Break from ‘The Voice’ - Shakira, Usher Step in for Season 4

Photo: Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green Taking Break from 'The Voice' - Shakira, Usher Step in for Season 4

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Having superstar judges, it seems only realistic NBC’s The Voice would have to give them an opportunity to fulfill their career obligations.

On Monday, NBC announced judges Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green would be taking a break from their roles on The Voice next season.

Stepping into the temporary roles will be Colombian singer Shakira and R&B crooner Usher.

While away from the show, Aguilera will be releasing a new album and promoting it with a tour. Green is said to be working on two albums as well as a comedy series of NBC to be based on his life.

In a statement, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said, “We are thrilled to welcome Usher and Shakira to ‘The Voice.’ The addition of these popular iconic artists continues the tradition established by Christina, CeeLo, Adam and Blake,” said Greenblatt. “Doing two back-to-back cycles of this show requires a tremendous amount of time, and we are happy to accommodate the commitments made by Christina and CeeLo. The participants on our show benefit from our coaches’ expertise and their continued success in the music business allows for significant new contributions to the contestants when they return.”

ImageAguilera expressed her love for the show and her role as judge and mentor, but added “I am a singer and performer first and I am so excited to get back to that love.”

Since this year NBC and ‘The Voice’ have decided to tape back-to-back seasons, requiring a full-year commitment, it is important for me to take season four off, allowing me to support my music that my fans have been waiting for—with the release of my new album ‘Lotus’ on November 13. By pursuing my first passion of music during the break, I am also able to come back and offer even more to my team on ‘The Voice’ in the future.

Here is what Green had to say about his break from the show:

First ...thank you NBC for supporting my decision to take this season four hiatus! It says that I’m seen and respected as a complete artist and not just a cast member. I’m highly enthusiastic about focusing my undivided attention on my additional endeavors and interests like my upcoming solo album, new Goodie Mob album, Las Vegas residency ‘Loberace,’ new memoir, and new NBC comedy. It’s great to also give a host of other talent the chance to experience what a joy it is to be part of what is truly THE BEST SHOW of them all, THE VOICE! I will return for season five and will be watching season four. NBC is home and as far as Usher and Shakira are concerned – ‘mi casa su casa.’

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rapper Amor “Lilman” Arteaga, 9, Tells People with Sagging Pants “Pull Ya Pants Up” (VIDEO)

Rapper Amor “Lilman” Arteaga, 9, Tells People with Sagging Pants “Pull Ya Pants Up” (VIDEO)

Photo: Rapper Amor "Lilman" Arteaga, 9, Tells People with Sagging Pants "Pull Ya Pants Up"

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At just 9 years old, Amor Arteaga has a music video and a message: Pull your pants up.

Going by Lilman, the young rapper says he wrote the song “Pull Ya Pants Up” with his dad, Juan, 39, after becoming sick of seeing people walking around wearing their pants dropped low and showing off their underwear and rear ends.

‘It’s disrespectful showing your butt off,’ Arteaga told New York Daily News. ‘I’m always seeing boys, girls, rappers, singers – everyone is sagging out.’

In his song, the Flatbush fourth-grader raps:

The London Bridge s falling, but not before your pants. You lookin’ for a job, well give yourself a chance. You going to school, well pull them up, man. You chillin’ in the club, well how you gonna dance?

ImageJust two years ago, Lilman admits he was one of the kids with his pants sagging. His father, however, scolded him and explained why it was inappropriate. Immediately, the young rapper began working on the song.

Once he completed the song, he debuted it at Flatbush’s Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series. Prior to the event, Lilman had the opportunity to meet Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. When it came time for shooting the video, Markowitz even made an appearance, dancing to the beat.

‘Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a star. I didn’t want to go through all this nonsense of cursing. I wanted to be positive with my raps.’

For his next song, the songsmith says he plans on tackling violence and bullying.

Check out Amor ‘Lilman’ Arteaga’s video for “Pull Ya Pants Up.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Felicidades! Chile on Your 202nd Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Chile on Your 202nd Year of Independence

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Today, all of Chile is celebrating and rejoicing its 202-year old independence from Spain.  The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s with Ferdinand Magellan first sighting Chile in 1520.  Chile started its path to Spanish independence on September 18, 1810 when a junta was established. 

Chile has gifted the world with its natural beauty in the Patagonia region and the Andes mountain range.  The country is especially proud of its vineyards and the Chilean red wine that it is renown for. 

Today the country’s estimated 17 million residents will celebrate its independence with many parades with huasos – the traditional Chilean cowboy and lots of music.  Chile’s food will be offered throughout the country in traditional stands from empanadas to asados.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent their congratulatory remarks to the people of Chile:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Chile as you celebrate your independence this September 18th.

This year, we celebrate 200 years of U.S.-Chilean friendship and reflect on a relationship based on shared values, including a commitment to the rule of law, respect for human rights, and prosperity through open trade. Whether we are working together to monitor earthquakes and glaciers, or looking into deep space from Chile’s world-class observatories, our joint efforts continue to advance scientific knowledge and improve the lives of people around the world. And our relationship is enriched by the many long-standing educational and professional exchange programs that build bridges between Chilean and U.S. students, scholars, and professionals.

As you celebrate with family and friends, know that the United States is a partner and friend and we look forward to continued friendship and collaboration.

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UN:  Coca Cultivation in Bolivia Decreased by 12 Percent in 2011

UN:  Coca Cultivation in Bolivia Decreased by 12 Percent in 2011

Photo: Coca Production Decreases, Bolivia

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The cultivation of coca bushes in Bolivia decreased by around 12 per cent in 2011, according to a new survey released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The annual survey, jointly produced by UNODC and the Bolivian Government, found that the area under cultivation reached around 27,200 hectares last year, compared to 31,000 in 2010, marking the end of three years of high levels of cultivation of the bush, which is the raw material for the manufacture of cocaine.

In a news release, UNODC Representative in Bolivia, Cesar Guedes, welcomed this positive trend and thanked the Government for its drug control efforts.  In 2011, the Government eradicated coca crop from 10,500 hectares, up 28 per cent over the 8,200 hectares cleared in 2010.

Despite lower production, the market value of coca leaf rose to $353 million in 2011, up from $310 million in 2010. This represents 1.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 15.3 per cent of the GDP value of the agricultural sector.

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San Antonio Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by Honoring Cantinflas

San Antonio Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by Honoring Cantinflas

Photo: Cantinflas Retrospective in San Antonio

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The San Antonio Public Library is playing host to an exhibit that is the first of its kind in the United States and commemorates a historic Hispanic comedian for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Cantinflas Retro: A Mario Moreno Retrospective” is on display at the San Antonio Public Library, Sept.15 – Oct. 15, 2012. The retrospective is a collection of replica photos and movie posters from the life and career of Mario Moreno, known around the world as “Cantinflas.” The Mario Moreno Foundation in Mexico City selected San Antonio over Los Angeles as its inaugural U.S. host city. The exhibit is presented in partnership with KLRN-TV and the San Antonio Public Library Foundation.

In 2011, this collection of more than 125 photos, movie posters and films of Mario Moreno and his alter ego, Cantinflas, were exhibited in Mexico City in commemoration of Moreno’s 100th birthday by the Mario Moreno Foundation. Thousands of fans engaged in this nostalgic look at the life and career of an actor and comedian that spanned more than 50 years.

Beloved in Mexico and renowned globally, the actor Mario Moreno holds a special place in the hearts of many San Antonians who remember fondly his visits to the Alameda Theater in the 1950s and 1960s.

For more information, visit www.cantinflasretro.com.




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Los Angeles Schools Inundated with Document Requests from Deferred Action Hopefuls

Los Angeles Schools Inundated with Document Requests from Deferred Action Hopefuls

Photo: Deferred Action Documents Request Overwhelms L.A. Schools

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The Los Angeles Unified School District reported Monday that it is suffering an administrative collapse due to the avalanche of requests for academic documents necessary to apply for Deferred Action, a federal program allowing qualified undocumented youth to at least delay deportation.

The LAUSD confirmed that since Aug. 15, when the Deferred Action program went into effect, it has built up a backlog of more than 2,300 requests for transcripts or diplomas.

Applicants must prove that they have resided continuously in the country since June 15, 2007, among other requirements.

The Homeland Security Department is accepting transcripts and diplomas issued by schools as documents to prove U.S. residence.

It is calculated that about 200,000 students in Los Angeles fulfill this requirement, and consequently there has been a substantial increase in requests for the documents, creating a backlog that LAUSD authorities have not been able to efficiently work through.

Last week, the Los Angeles school board ordered that the current number of backlogged requests must be taken care of within 35 days, while future requests will have to be processed within seven working days.

A report by the Migration Policy Institute estimated that California has about 460,000 of the 1.76 million undocumented youths nationwide.

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Mexican Streets Home to Organ Grinders and Their Music

Mexican Streets Home to Organ Grinders and Their Music

Photo: Mexican Streets Home to Organ Grinders and Their Music

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Organ grinders continue bringing music to Mexico’s streets, bucking the winds of change and refusing to disappear.

“It’s a humble job, but honorable,” Odilon Jardines, who has been a Mexico City organ grinder for more than six decades, said.

Jardines, who claims to be one of the oldest practitioners of the old-time occupation in Mexico City, arrived in the capital at the age of 8.

“I didn’t need to do it, my family had means, but I decided to take off and come here to see what was happening,” Jardines told Efe during an interview at his modest downtown Mexico City home.

The 72-year-old, wearing his trademark cap, talked about how he got started in the business, working in exchange for food and handing over all of his earnings for the day to the family that rented the instrument to him.

“That, and now I can say it, was real child exploitation,” Jardines said, adding that “I didn’t even have shoes” even though people gave him “good coins” because he was “so small” and was working hard.

Time passed, he found someone new to rent the instrument from and money started to come his way.

“I realized what they were keeping for giving me a mattress on the floor and some beans,” Jardines said, adding that he was finally able to buy a secondhand pair of shoes.

Things improved from then on and Jardines focused on learning a job that has not changed over the decades, operating an instrument that plays melodies recorded on tape, paper cylinders or metal cylinders that have the notes on them.

Jardines, who served as secretary for dispute resolution and work of the Organ Grinders General Union from 1974 to 1984, spoke nostalgically of a time when so many organ grinders worked the streets that they had to operate in shifts.

“It was always the turn of the same ones, so I organized a protest and we decided to go in and play the organ downtown without permission. In the end, they reported me, but we won, because it was not fair that the same guys always had permission,” Jardines said proudly.

He has devoted his life to organ grinding and the union, which has worked since the 1970s to set rules for members, who, unlike Jardines, increasingly have other jobs.

“Now, there are students, we have future doctors, teachers, who come to work to pay the bills. If they are young and are not studying, I don’t let them be here,” Jardines said, adding that the majority of his six children received an education.

The new system of part-time work, which occurs in two shifts, has revitalized an occupation that was having serious problems drawing workers a decade ago.

There are currently 178 organ grinders, according to Organ Grinders General Union figures cited by Jardines, up from just 70 in 2005, ensuring that the workers, who wear khaki uniforms in honor of Pancho Villa’s “Los Dorados” division, will be playing on Mexico’s streets for years to come.

The occupation is going through a period of “recovery and gaining dignity,” allowing instruments to be repaired and pieces that until recently were “terribly out of tune” to be played, National Music School professor Guillermo Contreras said.

Those who enjoy this type of street music, however, could find themselves affected by actions being taken by private interests linked to researchers and collectors, Contreras said.

The organ grinder’s trade has recovered, but other types of “traditional and nostalgic tunes” are being lost, such as vendors who arrive in neighborhoods and let residents know they are there by playing a distinctive tune on their vehicles’ horns, the professor said.

Use of the loud horns is now being banned in some districts of the capital, Contreras said.

Organ grinders face threats from new imitators, with people in some cities using cheaper methods of playing the traditional tunes with CD players, the music professor said.

The organ grinder’s trade “is very alive,” enjoying a “rebirth” that will allow people to continue listening to traditional songs, such as “Las Golondrinas,” “Las Mañanitas” and “Amorcito Norteño” in the streets, Contreras said.

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President Hugo Chavez Silences Opponent by Canceling His Political Speech on TV

President Hugo Chavez Silences Opponent by Canceling His Political Speech on TV

Photo: Venezuela President Candidate Henrique Capriles Taken Off Air

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Television coverage of a speech by opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles was interrupted Monday when incumbent head of state Hugo Chavez commandeered Venezuela’s airwaves for an event marking the start of the school year.

Critics have accused the leftist president of abusing the mechanism known as the “cadena obligatoria,” under which the government can compel all television and radio stations to preempt regular programming for an official event.

Monday’s cadena came as Globovision TV was broadcasting a speech by Capriles to supporters in Caracas.

During the event, Chavez interacted with a group of pupils in the capital neighborhood of Macarao and made a video hookup with a school in an indigenous community in the northwestern state of Zulia.

Capriles, whose speech continued to be transmitted via the Web by Globovision, expressed his outrage on Twitter.

“We’re also going to defeat the abuse of power in the middle of an election campaign expressed in the cadenas (on Oct. 7),” he tweeted, referring to the Oct. 7 election.

On Aug. 15, the civic group Public Space launched a campaign to ask that cadenas obligatorias be suspended during the presidential campaign since they harm the principle of equal access to the media for all candidates and/or parties.

Public Space director Carlos Correa told Efe at the time that between July 1, when the campaign officially commenced, and Aug. 9 Chavez has used the cadena obligatoria provision for an average of 32 minutes per day.

The president of the National Election Council, Tibisay Lucena, said that the council has no authority to regulate the cadenas since they are “material distinct from the election campaign.”

In turn, Communications and Information Minister Andres Izarra in July defended the cadenas “as a legitimate tool to inform the country about government activities.”

Capriles is the main challenger to Chavez’s bid to remain in office through 2019.

The 58-year-old former army colonel took office in 1999.

Read more by HS News Staff →

TuesdaySeptember 18, 2012