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Radio programme taken off the air due to political interests

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - On 30 July 2010, newscaster Alexander Mireles announced that his radio programme "Hablando Claro y Raspao", broadcast by radio station Class 98.7 FM, was taken off the air on 6 July because Teodoro Bolívar, governor of the State of Cojedes in central Venezuela, bought all of the station's air time.

Mireles, who is critical of Bolívar's administration, told IPYS-Venezuela that his was one of the first programmes to be taken off the air and that the station has now become "the official media outlet of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in Cojedes", thanks also to investments made by the regional government. Mireles has attempted to broadcast his programme through other stations but has not been successful.

The radio station has previously been targeted by the authorities. On 17 April, the mayor of the municipality of Ricaurte, Hylcris Martínez, threatened to close down the station and sue Mireles because of comments he made on his programme. Also in May 2009, the station announced that Bolívar attempted to seize the plot of land where it has its broadcasting center.

IPYS-Venezuela condemns the abusive actions of Governor Bolívar and believes they constitute an attack against freedom of expression.

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