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Chavez Targets Liberty, Speech In Venezuela

Hugo Chavez has exercised his power once again in Venezuela, shutting down a private television station and replacing it with a state-run outfit that will no doubt do a much better job of promoting the dictator's many good works.

Promotional material for the new station said programming will include news, sports, soap operas and documentaries aimed at embracing pluralism and cultural diversity in the nation.

Of course, "pluralism and cultural diversity" is strictly viewed within the narrow confines of a Pro-Chavez prism. Chavez also accused CNN of broadcasting subversive subliminal messages.

With its broadcast license not renewed, RCTV (former) employees found themselves together with university students protesting in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.

RCTV executives have condemned the decision to remove the private station from public airwaves and have vowed to challenge the move in the courts. Critics held marches late Sunday outside the National Telecommunications Commission to oppose the government's decision. Police said 11 officers were injured in clashes with protesters.

Apparently no protesters were injured, for surely the Venezuelan authorities would have reported such figures. The protesters must have been better equipped than the Venezuelan police, with more advanced helmets and body armor and larger batons and riot shields.

Already, the dictatorial South American regime has its sights set on closing a second Venezuela TV station, Globovision, accusing it of "inciting the assassination of President Hugo Chavez."