Archive for August 17th, 2005

Revisiting The Revolution will not be televised

August 17, 2005

Note: This post was modified on Aug 18th. to add to it

may seem strange to be revisiting that fraudulent movie “The Revolution
will not be televised” after such a long time after its release. A
number of different things have conspired to makeme do it. First and
foremost, I never thought when it first came out that such a parody of
a documentary could have the impact it had. Second, at the time it came
out, I did not have the pictures to show explicitly what we all saw and
were witnesses to on April 11th. that is so distorted in
that dishonest documentary. Third, a reader asked about it today and I
realized that I did not have, as I do in so many other topics, a link
to my own blog to prove a point. After all, that was one reason for
this blog, to document the lying, the abuses and the excesses of this
Government, not only with words, but also with pictures and links. One
day I am sure it will be an important document of this tragic era.
Fourth, one person that was involved in debunking the film passed away
a couple of days ago. Finally, thanks to a reader, one of the authors
of the documentary “X-rays of a lie”, Wolfgang Schalk, placed a comment
in the post preceding this one and offered to send some pictures which
he kindly did with wonderful efficiency. Thus, I thought I would use
those pictures, his own comments to them and what I know about that
day, to write this somewhat long post about April 11th., the documentary and how “X-rays of a lie” showed how unethical the authors of that documentary were.

By way of introduction, April 11th.
may be a mystery to those living abroad, but not the hundreds of
thousands of Venezuelans who lived history that day, whether they
stayed home or went to the demonstration that turned into a march,
which ended with the tragic death of 20 Venezuelans as well as more
than 150 people injured.

For a detailed description, Francisco Toro has the best reconstruction of that day on the web right here.
To make a long story short, after four days of demonstrations, a huge
crowd gathered in the East of Caracas and was taken to downtown Caracas
to demand the resignation of President Chavez after weeks of political
crisis, which Chavez later claimed was set off on purpose. Chavez had a
few thousand of his supporters surround his palace and as the march
progressed, shooting began against the peaceful protesters. The march
was peaceful; there were more women than men, older people as well as
children and even pets in some cases. It was not agressive or armed, it
topped one million people from all sectors of Venezuelan society. Yes,
a large majority fo them were middle class, but there were people from
all walks of life.

marchers did not know that minutes before the shooting began, President
Chavez went on nationwide TV, barring the broadcasting of the marchers
and the ensuing horror. TV stations decided that rather than obey the
order for the “cadena” showing Chavez, they would split the screen in
two, showing the confusion, blood and death of what was taking place
outside. Chavez spoke for over two hours. As people were being shot,
killed and injured, Chavez rambled on, in his usual style. Like Neroh
in burning Rome. After about two hours he announced he was shutting
down the TV signals of all private TV stations. He apparently was not
aware of the split screen all channels were using, he thought he was
the only one on, so he thought people had not seen much. He did know,
as he was kept informed in writing, of the tally of deaths and injured
right outside.

evening TV stations went back on the air and few people knew what was
going on at the Presidential Palace or with the military, but did they
see the video the Chavista city councilmen from Libertador openly
shooting at the path of the march from Puente El LLaguno. Around 3 AM
Chavez’ highest raking military officer and Head of the Chiefs of
Staff, Lucas Rincon, came on TV surrounded by the Chiefs of Staff and
announced to the country the infamous words: “The President was asked
to resign …and he accepted”.

ended what later became the first stage of what later became known as
the “coup”. Lucas Rincon was pro-Chavez, close to him, which gave
credibility to the announcement that he had resigned. (Later he served
as Minister of Defense for Chavez and Minister of Justice after
retiring). To this day, his role that day has never been explained.

movie “The revolution will not be televised” purported to show these
hours as a huge fake conspiracy to unseat Chavez. It distorted facts
and events, and worst of all, ignored many, in order to make many
points serve their story line. In fact, I do believe that Chavez did
resign in shame over the day’s events and there were many “coups”
afterwards as different personalities and groups jockeyed for power.
But that is not what the movie aims to show.

an example, below you will find on the left the image of what the movie
used as characteristic of the people on the stage set up in front of
the Presidential Palace. These were Chavez’ supporters shown singing,
relaxed and peaceful.

truth is that this image was taped on a different day, at a different
event as the true image of that stage onApril 11th. is shown on the top
right. Note that the words on the sign on the right have nothing to do
with those on the left part. The image at right show the real platform
installed that day in front of Miraflores.
in the image below, the movie purports to show Minister of Education
Isturiz and the Mayor of the Libertador District of Caracas laughing
and singing, but the second picture on the right shows an image from
Bernal on April 11th dressed completely different and
Isturiz with suit and tie on the background. Clearly the authors of the
movie used scenes from different moments to show people in a light
convenient to the point they wanted to make. Manipulating images to
serve their purposes.

The scenes from the shooting from Puente El LLaguno were also manipulated as shown below:

the words of Wolfgang Schalk: “To prove that the “LLaguno gunmen” did
not shoot anybody, the authors used the image from a different time,
after the march was over, with a commentary that there was nobody to
shoot at in the Baralt Ave. (The street that goes underneath the
LLaguno Bridge). The shadow of the buildings produced by the sun gives
us the approximate time of day. (West is on the right of the page). On
the right were you see the gunmen fire, the shadow of the buildings is
very near them because it is much later, around 4:30 pm.”This is blown
up in the picture below:

But there are more ways to prove the manipualtion of the timeline.
Below on the left is a picture of people carrying Erasmo Sanchez after
he was shot dead on Puente El LLaguno at 4:40 PM, the secne was taken
from the film by Alfonso Fernandez, with which he won the Principe de
Asturias award) that shot the gunmen shooting form El Llaguno bridge at
4:30 PM. Well, from the movie you can see the bloodstain on the El
LLaguno bridge, from Mr. Sanchez’ wounds. (On the left side between the
two swirly vertical lines which are actually on the sidewalk). The
blood takes about an hour to dry and starts being opaque like in the
picture rather than shiny, indicating these frames were taken an hour

The same can be inferred from the shadows of these two people
shooting from the bridge below. From the angle of the shadow
(approximately 15 degrees) it can be determined knowing the time of
year and location that 15 degrees corresponds to slightly after 5:30

But it gets worse.Below you will find the same image as above, taken
from “The revolution will not be televised”. This is the famous image
that has “convinced” people abroad that there was no march going under
the Puente El Llaguno when the Chavistas were caught shooting from that
bridge. Well, as shown above, the timeline was altered in that movie to
make their point. But what is worse, and even more unethical, is that
the frame on the right below, shows the identical frame from the original
movie. But see, they are quite different, because on the left, in the
frame from “The Revolution will not be televised” the frame was
“clipped” in order to be able to make the point they wanted to make.

On the top left is a frame from the movie as shown everywhere,
notice the white parallel line close to the top. However, in the
original movie which is on the right, which the makers of “X-Ray of a
lie” managed to get a hold of, the field of view is much larger. In
fact, it is so much larger that it actually shows the police water
cannon vehicle that was at the front of the march. On the right what
you see is that there are two parallel
lines, corresponding to two different streets which cut across Ave.
Baralt, of which only one as shown in the Irish movie. And right there,
on the second line, sitting on the middle of the street you see the
police vehicle coveniently “dissapeared” in order to make the point in
the movie that there was no march under the bridge. Of course not!
People were seeking refuge two blocks away behind the police water
vehicle as they were being shot at from the bridge! I blow up the
second street here so you can see the shadow of the vehicle sitting in
the middle of the street and I hope to get better pictures soon:

But I am also told, in the original movie there is a guy shooting on
the right, which was conveniently erased from the Irish movie! Goebbels
and Stalin woudl have ben proud of the ability of the Irish
cinematographers to change history!

the image below is shown in the infamous movie, in which Chavista
Deputy Juan Barreto is shown speaking and then on the right the movie
shows a TV screen with snow, as if Barreto was cut off and the
Government’s TV channel was taken off the air by someone in the
opposition. This actually never happened, the people appointed by
Chavez to run “VTV” the Government’s TV channel, cut off the
transmission themselves and abandoned the facilities for over an hour.
At that time a private TV channel went into VTV and showed all of the
facilities completely empty and abandoned

Showing the
above was ironic, given that they curiously failed to show the
following images of how Chavez minutes before the shootings began,
forced all TV stations to broadcast what is called a “cadena” of him
talking to the nation. He did this for two hours, but TV stations began
splitting the image in two carrying the horror that was going on until
as you can see on the image on the right, Chavez ordered all private TV
stations off the air.

the cold blood of Chavez doing this, that is why he was asked to resign
and everyone thought it was reasonable to ask him and him to accept. He
was ashamed, he could not live with what he did and caused. But
apparently the remorse did not last long, in part because too many
strange events took place in the following day as people tried to grab
power. But nothing can erase Chavez’ responsibility for that day.

on the left and right are pictures of the TV broadcast of the
announcemnet of Chavze’ resignation read by Lucas Ricnon on the left,
surrounded by the hierarchy of the Venezuelan military on the right.
These are also scenes curosuly left out of the Irish movie, despite the
fact that they suggest and imply that Chavez did resign, even if he
later denied doing it. But, once again, it did not fit the plot of the
movie, whichw as to show this perverse conspirancy to overthrow Chavez.

are many other details, like using for the documentary images of
Chavez’ supporters from the year 2000, at the height of his popularity
in order to show the support for him, or showing tanks mobilized by
Chavez himself against the people implying they were part of the coup against
Chavez instead, implying the opposition march was armed, showing scenes
from events that took place three months later, when Chavez’ Bolivarian
circles were threatening residential areas and showing people meeting
to see how they would defend themselves, but were presented as meeting
organizing the “attack” on the Presidential Palace on April 11th..
two facts should be pointed out. The main “witness” against the private
TV channels shown in the movies is none other than Andres Izarra, who
is presented as a sort of an impartial observer. Izarra became in fact
“marketer” of the movie as he was sent to the US to be the Communications Officer of the Venezuelan Embassy, where he helped created the Venezuelan Information Office (VIO) a propaganda and lobbying group for the Venezuelan Government in the US. He was later named Minister of Information and more recently President of Chavez’ international TV channel Telesur.

Additionally, the authors of the documentary tell a romantic tale of “just happening” to be here that day taping the documentarythemselves,
but as the image from that film shows below, you can see the image of
the person actually taping the movie in a mirror and is neither of the
authors of the documentary as claimed. In fact it is a short, sort of
overweight Venezuelan. There are many more indicators that it was in
fact footage from the Government that was turned over to the Irish
cinematographoers to work with.

of this simply shows why we always took this documentary to be a joke,
but did not appreciate the power of the resources of the Government in
making it become the “truth” for those far from the events of that
tragic day.

in many other cases, the “smoking gun” is simply the lack of interest
on the part of the Government to establish the “truth” commission to
investigate the events that day. Much like in the recall vote, where
opening the boxes and counting the ballots would have made the results
absolutely transparant, it was the Government’s Deputies in the
National Assembly who blocked the commission which would have shown the
true events to the world in clear fashion. If the Government truly
believed in the “coup” idea it would have worked to their advantage to
set it up. They actually stopped it, abusing their majority in the
National Assembly. I still hope one day it will be done and we will
know the truth.