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Court: Venezuelan TV station must stop broadcasting

Story Highlights

• Supreme Court rules station must cease broadcasting by Monday
• High court to review appeal of the government's decision not to renew its license
• Commercial station RCTV will be replaced next week by a public-service station
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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an opposition-aligned television station must stop broadcasting on Monday while the high court reviews its appeal of the government's decision not to renew its license.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the Supreme Court "decided to accept the appeal" presented by Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV, but rejected its request for "protect measures." That means the commercial station will be replaced next week by a public-service station, as announced by President Hugo Chavez.

Although the ruling is a setback for RCTV, the court is still reviewing its challenge to the government shutdown.

The channel and Venezuela's opposition argue that Chavez -- a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro -- is trying to silence criticism. Chavez rejects the allegations, arguing the new, state-financed TV station will respect freedom of expression by opening its doors to all Venezuelans.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

RCTV and Venezuela's opposition argue that President Hugo Chavez is trying to silence criticism by not renewing the station's license.



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