As we see another coup against Venezuela’s democratically-elected government, we revisit the 2002 coup attempt in the documentary, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (a.k.a. Chavez: Inside the Coup), which briefly deposed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. A television crew from Ireland’s Radio Telifís Éireann happened to be recording a documentary about Chávez during the events of April 11, 2002.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Media Blackout
In 2006, speaking at the United Nations a day after President George W. Bush, Hugo Chávez declared, “The devil came here yesterday, and it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of. Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the President of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world.”
While two Irish filmmakers spent seven months in Venezuela, shooting a documentary on the Bolivarian Revolution, Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain found themselves in the presidential palace in the middle of a coup. Amazingly, they had complete access to the rapidly unfolding events.
With particular emphasis on the role played by Venezuela’s private media, the film examines several key incidents: the protest march and subsequent disturbance that provided the smokescreen for Chávez’s ousting; the opposition’s formation of an interim government headed by right-wing business leader Pedro Carmona; and the Carmona coup-government’s popular collapse, which paved the way for Chávez’s return.
2003 documentary from RTÉ, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Chavez: Inside the Coup’
Yet The Revolution Will Not Be Televised played like a raw, Costa-Gavras-style, thriller and made disturbing implications about the role of the Bush administration, it’s CIA, and a complicit media who follow the whatever line the national security state feeds it. The title nods to a Gil-Scott Heron song on the surreal lack of journalistic integrity shown across the board.
It can be drawn a direct connection with the slow US-backed, internationally-supported coup now underway with almost total mainstream media approval against Chávez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro.
Updated 29 May 2019