|Presented by||Hugo Chávez|
|Country of origin||Venezuela|
|Original network||Venezolana de Televisión|
|Original release||May 23, 1999 – January 29, 2012|
Aló Presidente (English: Hello Mr. President) was a largely unscripted talk show that was hosted by then Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. It was broadcast on Venezuelan state television and radio stations every Sunday at 11:00 AM. The program did not have a fixed ending time, but usually ended by 5:00 PM, or as the program dynamics permitted. The show promoted the "Bolivarian Revolution" and blamed the Venezuelan economic problems on its northern neighbor, the United States. Many Venezuelans tuned in because Chávez was known for unveiling new financial assistance packages every weekend. Since 1999, Chávez had spent an average 40 hours a week on television promoting his "Bolivarian Revolution" policies.
It featured Chávez addressing topics of the day and touring locations where government social welfare programs were active. The first broadcast was made on May 23, 1999 (about three months after Chávez took office) on radio. A total of 378 shows aired.
The format of the show changed over time. At first, it was mainly a call-in show in which Venezuelans expressed grievances and talked to Chávez. Over time, fewer and fewer "regular people" called in and instead Chávez talked about his favorite topics. More artistic performances were added as the years went on.
Government ministers were required to attend the program. They may be questioned by the president about anything, and sometimes policy — even military policy — is made on the show. During the March 2, 2008 airing, Chávez ordered a top general to send ten battalions of troops to the border with Colombia in response to a bombing by Colombian forces inside Ecuador which killed Raúl Reyes, a top member of FARC. (The battalions were not deployed; see also 2008 Andean diplomatic crisis.)
South American model
Aló Presidente spawned similar programs by leaders in other Latin American countries, most notably Bolivia, Ecuador and El Salvador, led by Presidents Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and Mauricio Funes respectively.
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- Schoen (2009), p. 154.
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- "Aló Presidente - Transmisiones Anteriores" (in Spanish). Ministry of People's Power for Communication and Information. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
- Frajman, Eduardo "Broadcasting Populist Leadership: Hugo Chavez and Alo Presidente", Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 43, Issue 3, August 2014, pp. 501-526.
- Anderson, Jon Lee (June 23, 2008). "Fidel's Heir: The influence of Hugo Chávez". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- Bikel, Ofra (November 25, 2008). "The Hugo Chavez Show". Frontline. PBS. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2008.
- Grant, Will (May 24, 2009). "Chavez TV show marks anniversary". BBC News. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
- Aló Presidente (Spanish) — Official website, containing full-length video and audio files for most episodes since show #220.
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