Saturday, August 01, 2009

Venezuela: Chavez silences 34 radio stations

The Venezuelan government has ordered the closure of 34 radio stations, the head of the national telecommunications regulator, Conatel, has said.

Diosdado Cabello, who is also minister of public works in the government of Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, said the closures were due to the stations' inability to meet legal operating requirements, and warned that more closures may follow.

"They will have to cease transmission once they have received the order", Cabello said on Friday.

"This is about legitimate authority of the government to manage the radio spectrum... We are only implementing what the law says."

Among the best known channels shut down is CNB, which airs in Caracas and nearby Valencia, and is part of a national network that has been critical of the Venezuelan president.

Last month Conatel launched a survey of radio broadcasters, asking them to present documentation showing the validity of their licences.

More than 200 stations are still under investigation for failing to update their registrations.
Published by Mike Hitchen,
Putting principles before profits