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Venezuela cracks down on media

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[caracas] In an attempt to punish the media that overwhelmingly opposes Venezuela's populist President Hugo Chavez, the National Assembly on Feb. 13 passed the Law of Social Responsibility on Radio and Television (AA, Feb. 10). Media are subject to fines, suspension, or having their broadcast licenses revoked for offenses including "promoting disrespect for institutions and legitimate authorities such as the president and vice-president, ministers" and others. One network, Globovision, is already accused by the government of interviewing two generals who made anti-government remarks, broadcasting CNN en Espanol footage about Venezuela and inciting terror by airing the fatal shooting of opposition demonstrators by a government sympathizer. Media experts are concerned that the Venezuelan government will shut Globovision down this week.
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