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Chavez Takes Oldest TV Network Off The Air

From his fans at France’s AFP:

The final moments of RCTV.

Protests in Venezuela as Chavez takes TV channel off air

by Rafael Noboa, Mon May 28

CARACAS (AFP) – Venezuela’s oldest television network went off the air at midnight Sunday in a move slammed by the opposition as a new push by President Hugo Chavez to tighten his grip on the nation’s media.

Police fired water cannon to disperse protesters in Caracas just before RCTV screens showed recorded images of its teary-eyed employees singing the national anthem and then the screen went black.

The channel’s successor, Chavez-backed TVes, began broadcasting about 20 minutes later. TVes president Lil Rodriguez urged Venezuelans to display “responsibility within the framework of the constitution.”

As 53-year-old RCTV faded into history, network president Marcel Granier told US-based Univision television that Chavez was driven by “a megalomaniacal desire to establish a totalitarian dictatorship.”

He told reporters that he was certain that “democracy will return to Venezuela, along with RCTV.”

Using water cannon, police dispersed thousands of stone-throwing protesters outside Venezuela’s telecom authority, which ordered the station off the air.

Chavez supporters held a huge, night-to-dawn public party outside RCTV studios to celebrate the birth of the new “socialist television” and the end of the bitterly anti-Chavez media outlet.

The closure of Venezuela’s oldest network, the latest episode in President Chavez’s socialist revolution, sparked many protests.

Chavez’s political opponents championed RCTV as an opposition voice and sharply criticized his refusal to renew its broadcast license.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled that RCTV must temporarily leave its equipment and broadcast infrastructure in military hands to ensure that TVes can provide quality service.

Granier called the decision “an unconstitutional seizure of our equipment.”

Some 70 to 80 percent of Venezuelans opposed the closure, according to recent polls…

The left’s darling at work.

Of course they are desperately trying to do the same thing here.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, May 28th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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