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Election 2012: Latin America

Leaders, industry left cold; media mixed

The U.S. presidential election naturally received heavy coverage around the globe, with broadcasters in most nations devoting plenty of airtime to live coverage, even if time zones worked against them. The global news media across all outlets weighed in with hope, concern and sometimes, biting satire.

Latin American reaction to the re-election of President Obama was mixed, with media support in the region for Obama greater than that of governments or industry.

Venezuela’s opposition-leaning news channel Globovision and leading government-run network Canal 8 were in agreement for once, both elated about Obama’s re-election. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, however, appeared on TV to say that nothing was going to change, regardless of who won.

Meanwhile, in Chile, Panama and Guatemala, the media were generally hostile to another four years of Obama.

“Chile’s leading broadsheet El Mercurio is clearly in favor of the Republican party,” says Juan Jose Garcia de la Cruz Herrero, head analyst for Madrid-based think tank Intl. Prospective Institute. In Panama, the recent tussle between the Obama administration and that nation over the Panama Canal sparked some anti-Obama sentiment, he says. He suspects that in Guatemala, it was the right-wing owners of media who tilted support to the GOP.

According to Latin American Herald Tribune publisher Russ Dallen, two themes were prevalent in Venezuela’s media: their disdain for the U.S. electoral college system (broadsheet El Universal even posted an animated primer on it on its website, left) and pride in the decisive role Hispanics have taken in U.S. elections.

But Simon Alberto Consalvi, a columnist for Venezuela newspaper El Nacional, displayed a different partisanship before the election: “Let us pray … for divine providence to protect us from a Romney victory,” he wrote.

Election 2012: The world view
France | U.K. | Germany | Russia | Mexico | The Middle East | Israel | Latin America | China

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