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"The government fell into the confrontation trap"

Sociologist and communication media observer Maryclen Stelling urged the Venezuelan government to reinforce its trustworthiness and legitimacy in the light of the opposition strategy that has impacted the President’s image and administration

Stelling advirtió que el incremento de quienes no están ni con el Gobierno ni con la oposición podría configurarse como una importante fuerza política posiblemente liderada por el gobernador del estado Lara, Henri Falcón.

Fernando Sánchez / Archivo

23 de septiembre de 2016 23:59 PM

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"The government fell into the confrontation trap"

Coordinator of Venezuelan Media Watch Maryclen Stelling ruled out the possibility of a coup d’état to be staged. At the same time, she termed a mistake the fact that the opposition has set aside gubernatorial elections to bet on a recall vote this year against the government of President Nicolás Maduro.

“The possibility of a coup is always there, still it looks so far,” the sociologist remarked recently in an interview with talk show José Vicente Hoy (José Vicente Today) aired on private TV channel Televen.

Stelling added that Venezuelans are committed to democratic processes. Nevertheless, she did not dismiss the existence of hardcore groups that could back an overthrow in the event of any opposition’s failure. “Any possibility of coup is not cancelled, but it would be quite difficult in Venezuela these days,” she maintained.

The media observer claimed that the government has fallen into confrontation with the dissenting sector, thus jeopardizing the legitimacy and credibility of President Maduro and his administration. “When such a thing happens, obedience fades away and the President is compelled to resort to coercion and force,” she explained.

Stelling said that there is a “gulf” between ordinary citizens and politicians. On the one hand, people advocate dialogue. On the other hand, political sectors and leaders “have a simplistic view,” which boils down to “I will finish you off; I will smash you through media and social networks; I will knock you out with demonstrations, wording.”

Concerning the country’s democratic processes, she commented that in the event of a recall vote, this initiative would likely take place next year.

“The fact of having set the referendum as a goal per se within dissenters’ strategy is breaking them up internally,” Stelling remarked taking for example the case of anti-government leader María Corina Machado, who would stop supporting the dissenting sector if the referendum is not held this year.

In relation to media influence on the construction of reality, she criticized that Venezuela is made up of “two countries, that of opposition media and that of state-run media, yet none of them are true.” However, she noted that some private media outlets have made efforts to preserve objectivity and balance.

In that connection, the sociologist recommended state-owned media to show the reality of Venezuela and not to get involved in political matters. “In the country there are urgent issues right now; I think state-owned media should somehow show that country,” but from the perspective of an official reporter.

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