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Venezuela Poll: 70 Percent Oppose Closure of TV Station

A private poll in Venezuela has found nearly 70 percent of those surveyed say they oppose President Hugo Chavez's plan to close a television station aligned with the opposition.

The poll of 2,000 people by Datanalisis found only 16 percent said they support Mr. Chavez's decision not to renew the license of RCTV. 14 percent declined to respond. The pollster said the majority opposed the measure because it would restrict their right to see favored television programs, rather than because of a free speech concern.

Venezuela's communication minister, William Lara, accused RCTV of having financed the poll, and he dismissed the results as opposition propaganda.

The pollster said its regular, private clients commissioned the survey. A survey by the same company in March indicated Chavez's approval rating was holding steady at 65 percent - unchanged from the time of his re-election in December.

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