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OAS Warns Venezuela Against Closing Broadcaster

The Organization of American States has warned that Venezuela's plans to close a privately-owned television station may undermine press freedom in that South American nation.

OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza Friday called on Venezuela's government to reconsider the move against Radio Caracas Television.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez accuses the station of supporting a failed military coup against him in 2002. He has warned that he will not renew RCTV's license when it expires in March.

Insulza said any alleged violations by the station should be addressed through the Venezuelan courts.

RCTV president Marcel Granier told VOA's Foro Interamericano program that his firm has yet to see a formal explanation of the government's decision to end its license. He says the broadcasting license is valid until 2022.

Granier also accused Mr. Chavez of human rights violations for persecuting journalists at the station and other independent reporters in the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.