On December 28, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias delivered his annual "greeting speech" to the National Armed Forces (FAN) and announced the operating license of TV station Radio Caracas Television (known as RCTV) broadcasting on VHF Channel 2 won't be renewed when it expires on May 27, 2007. The station played a leading role, along with the other four major commercial private television channels in the country controlling 90% of the TV market, in instigating and supporting the 2002 aborted two-day coup against President Chavez. Later in the year they acted together again in similar fashion as an active participant in the economically destructive 2002-03 main trade union confederation (CTV) - chamber of commerce (Fedecameras) lockout and industry-wide oil strike that included sabotage against the state oil company PDVSA costing it overall an estimated $14 billion in lost revenue and damage.
A collaborative alliance of the five media "majors" that include Globovision, Televen, CMT and Venevision (owned by billionaire strident anti-Chavista Gustavo Cisneros who's called the Rupert Murdoch of Latin America because of his vast media holdings) along with RCTV began their anti-Chavez campaign soon after Hugo Chavez assumed office in 1999. In addition, 9 of the 10 major national dailies were part of the joint corporate effort to harm Chavez's popular support and undermine his legitimacy even before he had a chance to implement his socially democratic agenda now flourishing under his Bolivarian Revolution. It included the country's new Constitution and all vital social missions it gave birth to and now deliver essential services to the people who never had them before including free health and dental care and education to the highest level - for everyone mandated by law.
Chavez wants to promote more openness and diversity, an initiative that should be championed, not denouced. The issue is not a denial of free speech. It promotes it and advocates social responsibility and adherence to the law. RCTV was in flagrant violation on both counts, and with its VHF license shortly up for renewal will now be held to account for violating the public trust as it should be. It has only itself to blame for the impending action against it that's fully justified and long overdue.
If any part of the US media - corporate run, controlled or otherwise - reported the kind of strident anti-government propaganda intended to incite public hostility, violence and rebellion the way the Venezuelan dominant media do, they'd be subject to indictment on charges of sedition and possibly treason against the state - offenses far more serious than just the right to remain operating.
Venezuela's RCTV Acts of Sedition, Stephen Lendman, 25 janvier 2006