CARACAS - Venezuela's opposition candidate Henrique Capriles slammed President Hugo Chavez on Monday for blocking a live broadcast of an opposition rally, highlighting criticism the leftist leader abuses state resources to guarantee his re-election.
Shortly after Capriles began speaking to thousands of supporters in a Caracas park, Chavez launched a "chain broadcast" across all public access television in which he celebrated his government's achievements and extolled the virtues of socialism.
"Another radio and television chain broadcast to continue lying to Venezuelans just 20 days before the election," Capriles said via his Twitter account. Capriles has accused Chavez of using state institutions to tilt the Oct. 7 election in his own favor, from giving supporters cash and apartments, to using state media to glorify his image.
Chavez says he only uses "chain" broadcasts for state business, not to boost his re-election campaign, but they often last for hours, during which he usually berates his opponents. Local broadcasters in the South American nation are forced to halt their programming to carry the speeches, although the system was originally designed for brief emergency messages.