Venezuela-Sinks lower into poverty-Last hope of free speech destroyed-TV station-Regulations,& edicts of the police state of socialism
Last anti-Chavez TV station to be sold-Poverty prevails as the last hope of freedom's free speech is ended
The last remaining television station critical of Venezuela's government is being sold to an insurance company owner who is apparently friendly with the ruling socialists, its owners announced Monday, following an unrelenting official campaign to financially strangle the broadcaster through regulatory pressure.
The announcement, which civil liberties advocates called a crushing blow to press freedom, comes a month ahead of crucial elections to replace Hugo Chavez as the opposition accuses the late president's political heirs of employing multiple violations of the constitution to gain an unfair advantage.
The editorial line of Globovision is expected to change under new management, employees told The Associated Press. Many journalists sobbed when informed of the sale, certain some would lose their jobs, said one senior employee.
"We are economically unviable because our income doesn't cover our expenses. We can't even raise salaries enough to compensate for inflation," owner Guillermo Zuloaga wrote in a letter to employees.
The sale will wait until April 14 elections, which Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, is highly favored to win. But there is fear that journalists at the channel could exercise self-censorship, a common phenomenon under the Chavistas.
The feared disappearance of Globovision's independent voice would strengthen the hand of a government that began showing increasing intolerance for dissent even before Chavez died after a nearly two-year bout with cancer.
Zuloaga informed staff of the planned sale at a meeting Monday, naming the buyer as Juan Domingo Cordero, president of the insurance company La Vitalicia.
One employee told the AP that Cordero is friendly with government officials such as National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job.
Under constant sta