Monday, May 28, 2007

RCTV Banned in Venezuela

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Thousands of people have demonstrated in Caracas as Venezuela's oldest TV network went off air after President Hugo Chavez did not renew its licence.

Opponents of the decision to take Radio Caracas TV off air massed outside the station's HQ to voice their anger while Mr Chavez's supporters celebrated.

Within seconds of screens going blank, the insignia of a new state-sponsored broadcaster, TVES, appeared.

Mr Chavez said RCTV had tried to undermine his government.

The president says the new channel that took RCTV's place at midnight on Sunday (0400 GMT Monday) will better reflect the socialist revolution he has pledged to lead.

RCTV and rights groups say Mr Chavez is limiting freedom of expression.

Employees of Venezuela's most watched channel embraced and chanted "freedom", before bowing their heads in tearful prayer, during the final minutes on air. link




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