Media Crackdown

Archbishop calls decision to shut down Radio and Television Caracas Chavez’s “biggest political mistake”


In statements on Union Radio, Archbishop Roberto Luckert of Coro, who is vice president of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, said the decision to close Radio Caracas Television was “the biggest political mistake” of President Hugo Chavez, and he said it has wounded all Venezuelans.

Venezuela’s "Radio and Television Caracas" station was known as one of the few media outlets that criticized Chavez’s government. When the station’s broadcasting license came up for renewal, President Chavez decided to let it expire and shut the station down.

The archbishop said that up until now the government’s actions have affected select individuals or groups, but “the closing of Radio Caracas Television wounds the Venezuelan sentiment because it is one of the oldest communications company of the country and in every corner of the country people watch Channel 2,” he explained.

“Venezuelans are feeling all of this in their hearts, the people are feeling that not only the ruling class is being hurt, but the entire people, they feel the government is getting involved in matters that belong to the people.”

He also lamented the decision by the country’s Supreme Court to “confiscate the goods of Channel 2 and hand them over to the government.”

“The president decided he should shut down Channel 2, he announced it and closed it, and afterwards the petty lawyers showed up to try to justify the unjustifiable” he said, explaining that the Court’s decision proves it is bowing to the regime.

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