On June 8, Vice President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Enrique Márquez announced that the council would be investigating the state-operated news station, Venezolana de Television (VTV) for the “use of public resources for partisan ends.” Ahead of regional and municipal elections scheduled for November, Márquez has accused VTV of using the news station to promote the ruling PSUV party  and its internal nomination process.

Enrique Márquez, who acts as both CNE Vice President and President of the CNE’s Political Participation and Financing Commission (COPAFI), published an official statement to his Twitter account on June 8 announcing the launch of an investigation into VTV, citing that Article 145 of the Venezuelan Constitution states that public officials are “at the service of the state and without any partiality.” The statement also makes note of Venezuela’s Anti-Corruption Law, which states that public officials who use their role to promote a specific candidate, group, organization, party, or movement, could face between 1 and 3 years in prison. Márquez explains in his statement that the CNE will be initiating an investigation into VTV on the grounds that the station has unfairly promoted candidates for the PSUV party, making specific reference to Socialist party Vice President Diosdado Cabello’s program “Con el Mazo Dando,” in which Cabello detailed internal PSUV party processes and its internal elections onJune 2. The statement appeared to send a message to all public officials to comply with legal obligations to use public resources towards the shared goal of “growth and restoration of democratic institutionality.”

Communications Minister and VTV head Freddy Ñáñez responded to Márquez’s statement on Twitter, arguing that he is compromising his role on the CNE by speaking from a personal position of “opposition militancy.” Diosdado Cabello also responded on Wednesday’s episode of Con el Mazo Dando, during which he accused Márquez of “unilaterally” opening such an investigation and seeking to “sabotage” November’s elections, and defended his discussion of internal party processes, which he described as “extraordinary for democracy,” on his program. Márquez defended the announcement in an interview with EFE on Thursday, stating that he is simply fulfilling his duty as COPAFI President to ensure that state resources are not used to support political campaigns.


  • On June 7, the Frente Amplio civil society coalition announced the launch of an initiative called ‘Las ideas de todos’ to promote dialogue and cohesion among groups advocating for democratic change in the country. The meetings will take place from June 7 to July 17, and dialogue will be facilitated by representatives of universities, the health sector, labor unions, communities, NGOs, and political parties.
  • On June 7, the National Electoral Council (CNE) President Pedro Calzadilla announced details of an electoral schedule ahead of regional and municipal elections programmed for November 21. The schedule includes dates for national voter registration, the nomination for candidates, and electoral campaigns.
  • Although the mainstream opposition led by Juan Guaidó has yet to make an official announcement regarding plans to participate in upcoming regional and municipal elections, opposition parties are reportedly in the process of selecting candidates and are gearing up for electoral campaigns ahead of the official nomination period in August.

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