As MRC Latino has documented since its inception in 2014, some of the worst liberal bias in television news coverage of American politics airs on Telemundo and Univision. However, as MRC Latino has also pointed out over the years, both networks have also consistently stood out in covering chaotic developments in Venezuela, where the government of Nicolás Maduro is now teetering on the brink of collapse.
Such is the case again in 2019, with both Telemundo and Univision’s principal national evening newscasts spotlighting the day the dictator was sworn in to a second term, under the cloud of an election roundly condemned as illegitimate and as other countries begin to curtail diplomatic relations with the country. While Telemundo and Univision covered the news, the dramatic events in Venezuela on January 10 went altogether unreported on the nightly newscasts of their English-language counterpart broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and NBC.
JOSE DIAZ-BALART, NEWS ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: Nicolás Maduro’s taking of the oath of office to govern Venezuela for another six years has generated worldwide rejection, following a re-election that has not been recognized by the European Union, the United States, and 13 Latin American countries. The National Assembly declared him a usurper of the office
JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: The head of the Venezuelan regime, Nicolás Maduro, was sworn in for a second term that would extend until 2025. He did so in the midst of isolation and repudiation by part of the international community, which declares him illegitimate. Paraguay became the first country to close its embassy in Caracas and break relations with the Venezuelan administration.
As can be seen from the full transcripts below, the Telemundo and Univision correspondents on the ground in Caracas included in their coverage statements from Maduro, his supporters and his opponents, including by diplomats from a growing number of countries in the western hemisphere.
Fresh, emerging angles in the opposition to the Maduro regime received well-deserved attention, as both networks highlighted the harsh truths of Venezuela’s mess. Let’s hope Telemundo and Univision’s counterparts at ABC, CBS and NBC also finally take the cue, and step it up.
Below are the complete transcripts of the above-referenced segments, as aired during the January 10, 2019 editions of Noticias Telemundo and Noticiero Univision.
January 10, 2019
JOSE DIAZ BALART, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: Nicolás Maduro’s taking of the oath of office to govern Venezuela for another six years has generated worldwide rejection, following a re-election that has not been recognized by the European Union, the United States, and 13 Latin American countries. The National Assembly declared him a usurper of the office and demanded a route for transition. Adriana Núñez Rabascall has the report from Caracas.
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA: I swear in the name of the People of Venezuela…
ADRIANA NÚÑEZ RABASCALL, CORRESPONDENT, TELEMUNDO: Upon taking his oath of office for a second term, Nicolás Maduro declared himself the victim of an international campaign of lies against him. He also acknowledged that his government has made mistakes.
NICOLAS MADURO: I am harassed by the indolence and bureaucracy that damages the life of the people.
ADRIANA NÚÑEZ RABASCALL: In cities such as the Barquisimeto in western Venezuela, opponents protested against Maduro’s term, and were repressed by the authorities.
MADURO OPPONENT: For us he is a dictator, and he will continue to be a dictator.
ADRIANA NÚÑEZ RABASCALL: Meanwhile Caracas was a city with little activity, guarded on each corner by police and military.
MADURO OPPONENT: While an illegitimate government is there, look how we Venezuelans are carrying the weight, struggling, waiting in line to buy food. I feel like every day brings a new humiliation.
ADRIANA NÚÑEZ RABASCALL: Outside the Supreme Court where Maduro was sworn in, dozens of his followers gathered to express their support and launch harangues against attempts to refuse to recognize his legitimacy.
MADURO SUPPORTER: Enough of being asleep. Let's go out and make the revolution.
ADRIANA NÚÑEZ RABASCALL: The National Assembly, with an opposition majority, warned that as of today in Venezuela there is no President, and called on the Armed Forces to restore constitutional order.
JUAN GUAIDO, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY: Today there is no head of state.
ADRIANA NÚÑEZ RABASCALL: The new Maduro government was declared illegitimate by the OAS, with the abstention of countries like Mexico. For its part, the United States declared Maduro a usurper. In Caracas, Adriana Núñez Rabascall, Telemundo.
January 10, 2019
JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: The head of the Venezuelan regime, Nicolás Maduro, was sworn in for a second term that would last until 2025. He did so in the midst of isolation and repudiation by part of the international community, which declares him illegitimate. Paraguay became the first country to close its embassy in Caracas and break relations with the Venezuelan administration. Francisco Urreiztieta explains how this tense day went, there in Venezuela.
FRANCISCO URREIZTIETA, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: Adorned by the symbols of presidential power, Nicolás Maduro takes his second oath of office before the Supreme Court of Justice and not the Parliament, as the Constitution orders.
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA: And from today I assume the presidency of the Republic for the second term.
FRANCISCO URREIZTIETA: It was the first illegality of the constitutional act. Minutes before, a nervous Supreme Court President verbally stumbled in administering the oath to a tense Maduro.
MAYKEL MORENO, PRESIDENT OF THE SUPREME COURT: Verifying the, the, the, ehm... Verifying the, eh...
FRANCISCO URREIZTIETA: Part of the tension of a difficult swearing-in. Outside the Supreme Court reigned the rejoicing of his supporters, who followed the act on television screens. Some excited, in tears.
MADURO SUPPORTER: We are throwing a punch to the Empire, so that they see that here there is heart and love for our country.
FRANCISCO URREIZTIETA: But Maduro took his oath for a new term already isolated, and with the winds against him, with part of an international community that opposes and does not recognize him. Starting with Paraguay, which was the first country to announce the closure of its embassy in Caracas.
MARIO BENITEZ, PRESIDENT OF PARAGUAY: Adopts today the decision to break diplomatic relations
FRANCISCO URREIZTIETA: While Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, among other governments, denounced the illegitimacy of the act and announced the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel, questioning the swearing-in of a Maduro willing to face international condemnation.
NICOLAS MADURO: Venezuela is respected! And Venezuela is led and governed by Venezuelans!
FRANCISCO URREIZTIETA: Meanwhile, the Parliament under opposition control reiterated the nullity of the acts of swearing by declaring the power to be vacant.
JUAN GUAIDO, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY: The usurpation of the presidency of the Republic and Nicolás Maduro-Moros
FRANCISCO URREIZTIETA: And the first protests against this swearing-in of Maduro as President were repressed. In several cities, protesters clashed with security forces, who used tear gas to disperse the concentrations. Maduro takes the oath of office with the support of his followers in a climate of high tension that could radicalize their actions. And these could lead to the rupture of diplomatic relations with those governments that do not recognize the dissolution of the National Assembly and the imprisonment of more opponents. In Caracas, Venezuela, Francisco Urreiztieta, Univision.