Thousands march in support of Chavez

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.

Thousands march in support of Chavez
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.

In a speech to thousands of supporters Saturday, the leader threatened to terminate the broadcast licenses of other private media outlets seen as sowing unrest in Venezuela.

"In the case of the old bourgeois channel (RCTV), we were quite patient and waited for its concession to end, but don't anybody believe that it will always be like that. A concession can end before the established time ... for violations of the constitution, the laws, for media terrorism, for many things," he said.

As Chavez spoke, his supporters at times chanted, "It's your turn next, Globovision!" in reference to the only major opposition-aligned TV channel remaining in the country.

Information Minister Willian Lara said the march would "demonstrate before the world that the non-renewal of (RCTV's license) ... is a democratic conquest," saying 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.

Many marchers said they backed RCTV's removal because they opposed the sexual and violent content of its entertainment shows, and found the news programs biased.


Last Mod: 03 Haziran 2007, 13:56
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