Tens of thousands of Venezuelans opposed to Hugo Chávez took to the streets of Caracas Jan. 23, blaming him for numerous problems in the country, including increased electricity blackouts, water rationing, and widespread crime. The rallies coincided with the 52nd anniversary of the uprising that toppled Venezuela’s last dictator (Marcos Pérez Jiménez). (AlJazeera, Jan. 23).
The following day, Venezuela’s government ordered six cable TV channels off the air for breaking a law on transmitting government material. The privately owned RCTV International, openly opposed to President Chávez, is one of those affected. On Saturday, the same day as the protests, the government had ordered RCTV to broadcast an official message, but the channel refused to comply. The communications director for RCTV, Gladys Zapain, told AFP there was “no prior notification” of the move. (BBC News, Jan. 24)
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