CARACAS – Radio Caracas Television, which has an editorial slant opposed to President Hugo Chavez, announced Monday that it reached a solution to the conflict with regulators that forced RCTV off the country’s cable systems last month.
The president of parent company Empresas 1BC, Marcel Granier, told a press conference that the firm has presented on Monday to the Conatel regulatory panel the documentation required for it to get back “on the air.”
Venezuelan cable systems dropped RCTV Internacional and five other stations from lineups late last month in a dispute over which rules applied to the outlets.
Conatel distinguishes between “national” and “international” channels based on the source of content. RCTVI maintained that as an international channel, it was not subject to regulations requiring national outlets to transmit official addresses whenever the president demands.
But Conatel said RCTV Internacional did not qualify as an international channel because more than 70 percent of its programming was produced in Venezuela.
Granier said RCTV decided to solve the problem by splitting into two networks: RCTV Internacional and RCTV Mundo.
The revamped RCTV Internacional will accept its classification as a domestic outlet and comply with all relevant regulations.
RCTV Internacional accepts “under protest” the classification as a national channel applied to it by Contael and RCTV Mundo will continue “to adhere to the principles and values of the firm, because we will not surrender and we will continue defending freedom and democracy in Venezuela,” Granier said.
Venezuela’s opposition, joined by foreign governments and international organizations, condemned last month’s suspension of RCTV Internacional as a blow to freedom of expression.
RCTV, the Andean nation’s oldest television station, transmitted via cable and satellite since it was forced off the public airwaves in 2007. The Chavez administration declined to renew the outlet’s broadcasting license, citing the station’s support for an abortive April 2002 coup. EFE