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Venezuela's Chacon Pledges New Broadcast Rules to Regulate RCTV

Venezuela will develop new rules to force RCTV International, a TV channel that moved to cable after losing its broadcast license, to submit to government regulation, Telecommunications Minister Jesse Chacon said.

Reacting to a Supreme Court ruling last night that suspended an order fining cable and satellite companies for transmitting RCTV, Chacon said the government will consult carriers on rules clarifying what makes a network domestic rather than international. RCTV claims international status, freeing it from regulation. The court held the law is unclear.

`` We respect the court decision but don't agree with it,'' Chacon said in remarks broadcast today in Caracas. ``No law in the world establishes a complete regulatory mechanism.''

Chavez's decision earlier this year not to renew the broadcast license for Radio Caracas Television triggered weeks of protests at home and condemnation abroad over what critics viewed as an attack on free speech. The television network, the country's oldest and most widely viewed, has been a staunch government critic.

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