Amid the chaos, Chávez preempted TV and radio broadcasts to calm the nation. But as he spoke, several channels split their screens to show that all was not well. Later, when Chávez was hustled off by his foes, it sparked mass gatherings by supporters demanding his return. Many broadcasters boycotted the news and ran regular programming, including cartoons, instead.
Chávez never forgave the media, Correa said.
“April was a watershed,” he said. “That’s when the government began considering the media its enemy.”
In the following years, the administration pumped millions into public media that would carry the party line. It also forced private media into compliance with fines, regulations and by withholding advertising. RCTV, once Venezuela’s largest broadcaster, lost its license in 2007.
On Wednesday, Globovisión — the last openly critical television station — was the sole channel carrying the Capriles event. A few weeks ago, the station said it was no longer “politically” or “economically” viable and that it would be sold after Sunday’s election.
The events surrounding April have never been cleared up. The government has said 19 people died, but the figures are in flux. Government supporters who were killed are known as “martyrs” and have a statue. Opposition victims are virtually invisible.
During his final campaign stop, Maduro, once again, accused right-wing mercenaries and opposition sharp shooters of killing their own to provoke chaos.
“Eleven years ago, they massacred their own people to blame commander Chávez and justify a coup,” Maduro said.
Pesate is convinced that the bullet that hit her came from government supporters or troops. A truth commission was established but never got anywhere, because the government was more worried about protecting its own, she said.
“I firmly believe that I will know the truth one day,” she said. “But it’s not going to happen until this regime falls.”