“I’m very happy that there are no unfortunate occurrences to report,” Patricia Janiot, a Colombian journalist with CNN en Español, said Monday after the presidential elections in Venezuela.
“Yesterday was an example to the world,” Janiot said in an interview on a privately owned television station. “Eighty percent participation. I cover elections in Latin America and it’s the first time I’ve seen anything like this.”
“One might think after 14 years in the government the enthusiasm would decline, but no, quite the contrary.”
“[Hugo Chávez] inundates the environment with that charisma, that closeness, and we journalists feel it, too. He was always very kind to me, and once again… he came over and thanked me for covering the elections,” Janiot said.
The journalist added that the head of state “had the deference to give me the opportunity to ask a question that wasn’t planned; he had the deference to come up to me when the press conference ended… those things show that we do not feel threatened in any way, we do not feel that there is any prejudice against the foreign press.”
Another collaborator with CNN en Español in Colombia, Claudio Palacios “previously I had covered them [the elections] from the set… I noticed it was an environment much more peaceful and much more calm than I had imagined, and I think that’s positive.”