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Caracas, Wednesday May 09 , 2007  
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Chávez: "Public" channel will replace RCTV

The ruler vows the new TV network will spread Venezuelan values and culture (File Photo)
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Venezuelan President denied political motivations behind his decision not to renew the broadcasting license to 53-year-old private television station RCTV


Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez late Tuesday announced he has selected the members of the board of directors that is to conduct a new "public" television channel that will replace Caracas-based private TV network RCTV as from May 28.

Chávez' Government has decided not to renew a broadcast license for RCTV, arguing that this 53-year-old television station was involved in an attempted coup d'etat in April 2002.

According to the Venezuelan ruler, "one microsecond following the events of May 27 at midnight (expiration of RCTV broadcasting license), a free, entertaining, healthy, educative, enlightening programming that spreads our own values and culture should be aired" on the radio frequency signal currently operated by RCTV.

"I am not going to disclose any names ahead of time, but this is a great board of directors comprising real journalists, real fighters."

He added he assessed the intended programming of the new TV channel during a meeting with Executive Vice-President Jorge Rodríguez, Minister of Communication and Information Willian Lara, and Minister of Telecommunications and IT Jesse Chacón.

President Chávez denied claims that his refusal to renew the broadcast license for RCTV has political motivations. "This has nothing to do with politics. This goes even deeper, and has moral grounds, because of the damages this TV channel has caused to our country: anti-values, broadcasting of bastard values, violence, hatred, racism, inappropriate approach to sex issues, disrespect for women, boys and girls, homosexuals, and handicapped people, and disrespect for the country and the world."

Chávez rebuts Drug Czar claims
Chávez also rejected US Director of National Drug Control Policy John Walters's claims that drug traffic through Venezuela has allegedly increased. "Our country is a victim, a bridge, and we are working to fight this problem."

"Venezuela is not even a producer. We have eradicated all of the drug crops we have found here. The thing is that the empire is trying to mislead the world with lies."

Further, Chávez praised the current process of registration with his United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Despite media reports claiming that the process has been a failure, he said, the truth is an unprecedented turnout has been recorded.

Translated by Maryflor Suárez R.

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