Thousands of red-clad supporters of President Hugo Chavez strode through the Venezuelan capital Saturday seeking to counter a national outcry over the government's removal of an opposition TV station from the air.
The march was in response to a week of large, sometimes violent protests by students who warned that freedom of expression is threatened by Chavez's refusal to renew Radio Caracas Television's broadcast license, which forced it off the air May 27.
Information Minister Willian Lara said the march would "demonstrate before the world that the non-renewal of (RCTV's license) ... is a democratic conquest," claiming the private media has been "held ransom by a small economic group."
Chavez accuses RCTV of inciting a failed coup in 2002 and violating various broadcast laws.
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