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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ecuadorian President ready to cancel broadcast licenses

El Universal, June 11, 2007

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on June 10 vowed to annul the broadcast license for any television channel that plots against his government, and endorsed Venezuelan ruler Hugo Chávez' decision not to renew the broadcast license for Caracas-based private television station RCTV, AFP reported.

"I am telling you this very clearly: if any television channel is found to have supported a coup d'etat and taken sides with coup-plotters -like RCTV did in Venezuela-, I will cancel it immediately," Correa told Hoy newspaper.

He added that "Hugo Chávez did not do this, as he waited and did not renew the broadcast license for the TV channel."

"Forgive me, but I would never support plotters in my country," said Correa, who is an ally and personal friend of Chávez.

According to the Ecuadorian government, Venezuela "is not curtailing freedom of expression." Correa's administration dismisses the idea that the RCTV case may be replicated in Ecuador, where the government has clashed with some media. Correa brands a sector of the Ecuadorian press as "mediocre, corrupt and liar."

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