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US Warns Americans Against Venezuela Demonstrations

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning to Americans planning trips to Venezuela, urging them to avoid this week's demonstrations against the forced closure of a popular television network.

Protests have continued all week since the government shut down Radio Caracas Television on Sunday, saying it violated broadcast laws. Police have arrested more than 180 people, mostly university students and minors, for allegedly violent acts during the protests.

Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV, continues to report and broadcast news on its own Web site and the popular YouTube Web site. The government has replaced the television station with a new state-funded channel, Venezuelan Social Television.

Former presidential candidate Manuel Rosales, a leading opponent of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has called for a referendum to decide whether RCTV should be allowed back on the air.

On Monday, Venezuelan officials said they were investigating another television channel, Globovision, alleging it had encouraged an attempt on the president's life. Globovision officials have rejected the allegations.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.