Venezuela demands Colombian soap opera be taken off the air

CARACAS, Venezuela  — Venezuelan authorities demanded that a private television station stop airing a Colombian soap opera that they said was denigrating to their country.
The soap opera "Chepe Fortuna" features an unscrupulous secretary named "Venezuela" who has a dog called "Little Hugo," an apparent reference to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Given recent diplomatic disputes between the neighboring countries, the satire has not sat well with Venezuela's government.
The character Venezuela, in contrast to her sister named Colombia, "is repeatedly characterized as associated with illegal activities, meddling and vulgarity," Venezuela's telecommunications regulatory agency Conatel said in a statement.
The regulator accused the soap opera of promoting "political intolerance" and notified private Venezuelan TV state Televen on Thursday that it should pull it off the air. It wasn't clear if the regulator's order included a sanction for the station if it didn't.
Filming of the soap opera began in 2009, when relations between Colombia and Venezuela were at a particularly tense moment.
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