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Venezuela Denounces Planned US TV Broadcasts

The Venezuelan government has denounced the Bush administration's plan to increase broadcasts to Venezuela and other countries where the United States wants to strengthen democracy.

A statement by the Communications Ministry in Caracas charges the United States is practicing "a gross form of interventionism" and trying to destabilize President Hugo Chavez's government.

President Bush said this week in a message accompanying his 2007 budget proposal to Congress that he wants to increase broadcasting of international and American news to Venezuela, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors subsequently announced that Voice of America would begin broadcasting a new, daily Spanish-language television program to VOA's South American audience.

Congress sent a message to the White House last year calling for U.S. radio and television programs to counter the anti-American views of Venezuela's President Chavez.

Some information for this report was provided by AP .