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Venezuelans Protest as Opposition TV Set to be Replaced by “Socialist Programming”

Tens of thousands of protesters have denounced President Hugo Chavez’s plans to close an opposition television channel, accusing Chavez of strangling democracy as he attempts to impose a socialist state on Venezuela, reports Reuters from Caracas.
“Let us defend democracy, let us defend freedom, let us defend free independent media,” Marcel Garnier, the managing director of RCTV, the broadcaster under attack, told the protestors to loud applause.
RCTV is Venezuela’s oldest private broadcaster. Chavez has decreed that RCTV’s broadcast license will not be renewed when it expires on May 27, and will be replaced by a state channel showing programs that promote “Socialist values.”

Tom GrossTom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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