Regulating Culture: Venezuela

Venezuelan Strongman’s New Gig: National Disc Jockey

Deep in Venezuela’s new, cumbersome Social Responsibility Law is an item that requires radio stations to play more – much more – Venezuelan music. The idea, the fiercely nationalist government says, is to promote Venezuelan culture over foreign culture, particularly American rock, which has dominated radio airplay for years.

If the measure seems obscure, its effects have not been. From the techno-pop wizards of cosmopolitan Caracas to the folksy crooners of this cattle town, Venezuelan musicians say they are reaping benefits from President Hugo Chávez’s efforts to regulate culture.