BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s government has started the process of unloading its stake in Telesur, a television broadcaster based in Venezuela, officials said Sunday.
Argentina has a 16 percent stake in La Nueva Television del Sur, the company that owns Telesur and whose other shareholders are Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Uruguay.
The decision to leave the regional television network, which was launched in 2005, was made by Media and Public Content Minister Hernan Lombardi and Public Communications Secretary Jorge Grecco.
“Our country had no role in the broadcaster’s content or in its management. This decision is in line with what we’ve decided with regard to public media in terms of plurality and austerity,” Lombardi told the Buenos Aires daily La Nacion.
Argentina joined Telesur under the January 2005 cooperation agreement with Venezuela.
The agreement had an automatic renewal provision that kicked in after the first five years unless the parties expressed a desire to exit the deal.
Once notification of intent to scrap the agreement was made, the exit was finalized six months later, Argentine officials said.