Hugo Chávez hits off switch on TV marathon

Poor Hugo Chávez. The Venezuelan president’s hopes to celebrate the tenth anniversary of his television program with a four-day marathon were suddenly derailed over the weekend: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had promised a four-day marathon edition of his widely watched weekly television talkshow, but unspecified technical problems threw the plans awry this weekend. In a ...

585399_090601_chaveztv15.jpg
585399_090601_chaveztv15.jpg

Poor Hugo Chávez. The Venezuelan president's hopes to celebrate the tenth anniversary of his television program with a four-day marathon were suddenly derailed over the weekend:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had promised a four-day marathon edition of his widely watched weekly television talkshow, but unspecified technical problems threw the plans awry this weekend.

Poor Hugo Chávez. The Venezuelan president’s hopes to celebrate the tenth anniversary of his television program with a four-day marathon were suddenly derailed over the weekend:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had promised a four-day marathon edition of his widely watched weekly television talkshow, but unspecified technical problems threw the plans awry this weekend.

In a three-line statement, the information ministry said Sunday’s “Alo Presidente” program had been canceled for technical reasons. Saturday’s show was called off without explanation[…]

A member of the president’s press team said they had waited on the show’s set until late afternoon without learning why it had been pulled.

Ever the entertainer, though, Chávez made good use of his time on the air:

The leftist began Thursday, speaking for about eight hours in two installments and threatening to punish a critical private TV station.

He also chatted to teens about sex education, talked about problems with his weight and called his friend and mentor, Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro, “Our father who art in Havana.”

The next day he challenged a group of right-wing intellectuals, including Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, to debate ideas on Saturday’s show, but the broadcast never materialized.

At least he didn’t mobilize the army on the air again.

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

James Downie is an editorial researcher at FP.

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