Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Chávez Claims Stake in Television Station



The Venezuelan President claimed on Tuesday to own 25.8 percent of outstanding shares of Globovision, the country’s only remaining TV channel with anti-government broadcasts. The stake in Globovision was acquired after the government took over Banco Federal CA, a failed bank that had owned a 20 percent stake in Globovision.

With the accumulated shares, President Hugo Chávez claims to have the right to name its own representative to Globovision’s board of directors. “We’re joining the business,” Chávez said.

This latest announcement continues a long running feud between Globovision’s owner, Guillermo Zuloaga, who is wanted on charges of illegally storing vehicles with the intent to sell them for profit, and Chávez, who faces near daily criticism of his administration from the broadcaster. Globovision representatives refuted the government’s right to place a government representative on the board noting that “the only way that a new member of the board can be chosen is by approval of 55 percent or more of the shareholders.”  The broadcaster also declared its intent to continue to stick to its anti-Chávez editorial line.

Opposition channel RCTV was forced off the open airwaves in 2007 and then off cable and satellite TV in January when Chávez refused to renew their broadcasting license.

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