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article imageChavez Shuts Down TV Network That Opposed Him

By Carolyn E. Price     May 28, 2007 in Politics
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has followed through on his threat to shut down Radio Caracas TV after it voiced rather loudly its opposition to Mr. Chavez and his nationalistic tendencies.
This post is a follow-up to Patrix's post entitled "Chavez to shut down opposition TV".
It is being reported that thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets after President Hugo Chavez basically shut down Radio Caracas TV (RCTV). RCTV went off the air at midnight on Sunday/Monday after the President refused to renew Venezuela's oldest and most popular television network's license.
The last thing Venezuelan's heard just before RCTV went off the air was an announcer saying: "Long live Venezuela. We will return soon."
Chavez accused RCTV of trying to destabilize his government and he is insisting that the new state-sponsored network, TVES, would "more accurately mirror the nation's socialist revolution". Well, of course it will, because it will only be able to say what Mr. Chavez thinks it OK.
Chavez told his people in a televised statement: "That television station became a threat to the country so I decided not to renew the license because it's my responsibility."
BBC is reporting that RCTV's general manager Marcel Granier is saying that the President acted illegally and he says that by refusing to renew his network's license, Chavez was being "abusive" and "arbitrary". "The fight continues, freedom is something you have to fight for permanently."
As RCTV went dark, angry protesters gathered outside the station's headquarters. Meanwhile, Chavez backers celebrated with fireworks and rallies.
At one point before RCTV's departure, gunfire was heard as rival demonstrators faced off near RCTV headquarters, the BBC reports. It is unclear who was shooting, but police fired back. It was not reported if there were any injuries.
It would seem that Venezuela's "President For Life" is well on his way toward creating an environment that will enable him to actually retain that title.
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