Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Maduro's Big Press Conference

Nicolás Maduro gave a well-hyped press conference yesterday to discuss economic reform. The result was primarily a reiteration of conspiracy theories, whereby Venezuela's economic woes are the fault of Barack Obama and others.

He listed some vague goals for 2015 but as usual did not provide any details, saying--also as usual--that they would be forthcoming. For the most part, this was not newsworthy. More interesting is how Nicolás Maduro frames and presents this news, which he believed to be important for calming people down. For that, I recommend checking out Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier's tweets (@hannahdreier) from yesterday. She was there and provides a really interesting view of the entire production, down to how he took an hour to answer one question and how he had a figurine of Hugo Chávez that Maduro had on his desk (I nabbed the photo from her Twitter feed).

As in the United States, style generally matters more than substance. Maduro was trying to acknowledge the onset of recession while cushioning it with conspiracies and promises of future plans. Apparently Chávez standing there with a sword was intended to reinforce his image of resolve.


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