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TV programme goes off air after disagreements with station

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - On 3 February 2012, TV program "Café con Azocar" was taken off the air. Said TV program had been hosted by journalist Gustavo Azócar since 2002 and it was broadcast by Televisora Regional del Tachira, located in the city of San Cristobal, 900 kilometers west of Caracas. Mr. Azócar told IPYS-Venezuela that days before the cancellation of his program, the board of directors of the TV channel informed him they were reducing the length of his program from 60 to 30 minutes, yet no further details were given with regards to the decision.

Azócar decided not to accept the new conditions proposed by the TV channel and his program was last aired on 3 February. Azócar believes that the expiration of the station's broadcast license two years ago - and CONATEL's refusal to renew it - might have played a role in the decision. CONATEL is the governmental body in charge of granting, or refusing, broadcast licenses and permits for TV and radio stations in Venezuela. He also stated that pressure exerted from top government officials, namely Iris Varela from the Prisons Ministry, might have led the board to make such decision.

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