First death anniversary of Chavez reactivates international media

As I have learned during my studies of public relations anniversaries are great communication opportunities – positive ones as well as negative ones. In communication anniversaries are often used as a means to bring up and place topics in the media again. The media on the other hand has a predilection for anniversaries for news value reasons.

When browsing the internet this morning I was happy to discover an unusual high amount of features treating Venezuela – even in German media, which is even more unusual as German media seems way too concerned about the situation in Ukraine to focus on any other foreign topic. The thematic anchor has been the first death anniversary of “El Commandante” Hugo Chavez in most of today’s features. The majority of articles highlights the problems Venezuela is facing at the moment and include original quotes from protesters.

I especially liked this sentence from Die Welt, though: “Viele Linke sind irritiert, können oder wollen nicht glauben, was sich in Venezuela abspielt.” (“Many left [foreign activists] are irritated, cannot or do not want to believe what is happening in Venezuela right now.”) This is exactly what I experience way too often when reading online comments. My opinion about their hypocratic behavior has been summarized very well by Michael Moynihan.

The only thing that nags at me is the way some articles place all the guilt on Maduro – I almost feel sorry for him. I mean, come on. All these problems did not come out of nowhere. I have seen them come up and deteriorate over the past couple of years. And no matter how unqualified Maduro might be, even if he had wanted to he could not have ruined Venezuela like this in a single year. He is just not as smart as Chavez was to cover up the ruin for a little longer and keep people satisfied. I get the feeling Maduro is just made the scapegoat for all of Chavez’ doings so the image of the icon the latter has become will remain undamaged. “If Chavez was still alive…” Well, but he isn’t.

That said all in all it is pretty ironic, though: It looks like Chavez, of all people, is the one to reactivate international media to cover Venezuela again. Not in the way he would have liked, for sure, but in my opinion the opposition could not be happier about this little favour from the grave.

My thoughts are with Venezuela

Solidary demonstration for the Venezuelan opposition in Berlin, Germany (Credit by venezuela-europa.blogspot.com)

I am so sorry I have not been updating as fequently as I wanted to. When starting this blog about two weeks ago little did I know how the situation in Venezuela would develop. At the moment I spend most of my spare time reading blogs (such as caracaschronicles.com) and Twitter posts, watching videos and news. With the situation in Ucraine seemingly more or less resolved and the Winter Olympics of Sochi being over the international media has finally begun focussing on events in Venezuela. Although it still gives me shivers to watch masked protesters throwing tear gas canisters back at the security forces I am happy to open Facebook in the morning and see big online newspapers like Spiegel Online and Die Welt report.

There have been a few solidary demonstrations for the Venezuelan opposition in Germany the past weekend, and although I only know of Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne and Heidelberg this is more than I expected. It gives me hope, though, because I feel like I am not the only one sitting in her safe and comfortable German home thinking of dear ones in Venezuela who have to go through such a time of insecurity. I have looked for demonstrations somewhere near my hometown but did not find any. Maybe joining a demonstration (without the fear of getting shot) and screaming out the frustration that has been slowly building inside of me would give me some kind of relief.

Anyhow, kudos to those who organized the demonstrations and produced some really nice images to share on the web as well!


Update:
Looks like there have also been actions in Regensburg and Hamburg (boo, and I didn’t know!)