Anti-Chavez channel taken off air for failing to show speech

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 25, 2010 06:21

 
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CARACAS, Venezuela - A cable-television channel critical of President Hugo Chavez was yanked from the air early Sunday for defying new government regulations requiring it to televise some of the socialist leader's speeches.

Venezuelan cable and satellite TV providers stopped transmitting Radio Caracas Television Internacional, an anti-Chavez channel known as RCTV, after it did not show the president's speech Saturday to a rally of supporters.

While five other channels were also dropped from cable, some say the government took broader action to disguise its mission to shut down a popular, critical media outlet ahead of congressional elections and amid rising discontent over inflation, crime and electricity shortages.

Venezuelan pollster and analyst Luis Vicente Leon said the message is clear: "The government is willing to do everything to destroy its adversaries."

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