On New Year's Eve, the government strips the National Assembly's TV station of all its equipment, and rolls its broadcasting onto VTV. Lindo.
Looks like ANTV will be no more, at least in its current form: Along with the recent TSJ-led offensive targeted against the 2/3 MUD majority, it seems like the upcoming National Assembly will have to do somehow without its own TV channel.
MUD’s Secretary-General Jesus “Chúo” Torrealba denounced that the master control used by ANTV in the Federal Legislature Palace was “dismantled” and that all equipment has been taken away on New Year’s Eve. Chúo wrote on Twitter that measures are already under way for the January 5th’s opening session of the new AN. “The country and the world will see the inauguration of the new AN…”
The outgoing AN’s leadership has kept its pledge to hand full control of the station to its “workers”. PSUV A.N. member Dario Vivas and ANTV Chairman confirmed this in a press conference on December 30th. The dubious legal manuver is seen by some as a clear violation of Article 73 of the Telecommunications Law. But broadcasting authority CONATEL didn’t say anything, of course.
For the time being, ANTV has dropped its name and logo on-air. It currently simulcasts State’s main station, VTV. Not just that, the channel changed its formal name to “Audiovisual National Foundation”. Even if Vivas promised that the channel will continue its parliamentary coverage, these actions assume that the channel will focus more on Chavismo’s alternatives to the National Assembly (like the recently installed Comunal Parliament and the grandiloquently-named Presidential Councils of Popular Government, which have their very own legislation thanks to the Enabling Law)
But it isn’t hard to see the true motivation behind this action: making difficult, if not downright impossible the work of the new National Assembly and the information that comes from it.
How far they’re willing to go? Well, by applying the same tactic they used with Avila TV in 2008. After Chavismo lost control of the Caracas Metropolitan Government: Taking away the channel and simply incorporating it into the Communication and Information Ministry. The hegemony is entirely predictable and unabashedly ruthless.
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