Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez yesterday cancelled the broadcast of his promised show, presidential sources told AFP, thus interrupting a four-day marathon of himself talking, singing, and haranguing detractors. Chávez had vowed a Thursday-to-Sunday broadcast of his weekly radio and TV programme “Alo Presidente” (”Hello President”) to mark the show’s 10-year anniversary.
Normally the show runs for several hours on Sundays, but Chávez said he wanted a special extended edition. “It will be in chapters, like a soap opera,” Chávez, a former paratrooper who often breaks out into song on-air, said on Monday.
Chávez held broadcast talkathons lasting some six hours each on Thursday and Friday. For Saturday, a debate had been scheduled between Chávez and conservative Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, a novelist who ran for president in 1990. But by late Friday Chávez was backtracking.
“I can help by moderating, but the debate is between intellectuals and I am simply a president, a soldier,” he said. The dialogue should be with “revolutionary and socialist” thinkers, he said.
Vargas Llosa and other Latin American intellectuals in Caracas for a separate event on democracy said they were not interested in debating other thinkers.
The next “Alo Presidente” broadcast will be today (Sunday) from the central state of Guarico, the presidential source told AFP.