Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez announced on Tuesday that suspect Lina Ron had been arrested for her presumed participation in a tear gas attack on the private television channel Globovision, in La Florida, Caracas on Monday.
A small group of people identified with Lina Ron’s pro-Chavez United for Venezuela Party (UPV) were filmed firing tear gas into the Globovision offices and clashing with police in La Florida, before making their getaway on motorcycles early Monday morning.
The attack occurred a day after Diosdado Cabello, head of Venezuela’s telecommunications agency (CONATEL), announced the closure of 34 private radio stations for operating illegally or violating regulations.
Globovision, a virulently opposition television channel is loathed by grass-roots Chavez supporters, particularly for its involvement in the 2002 coup that briefly ousted the democratically elected Chavez from power. Many groups call for the channel to be taken off air.
While making clear that the government is willing revoke Globovision’s broadcasting license due to its continuous violation of Venezuelan law, Chavez said, “These types of actions do damage to the socialist revolution, because they are counter-revolutionary.”
The head of state said he would not tolerate these types of actions by anyone; “Comrade Lina Ron for example – I have for some time been making calls, including public and privately many times [for her to moderate her behaviour], comrade Lina Ron is damaging the revolution.” She is “playing a game that favours the enemy,” Chavez added.
“There is no alternative and she must receive the full weight of the law, as well as those who went with her,” he said.
Communication and Information Minister Blanca Eekhout told Telesur that actions such as these allow private coup-plotting television stations to portray themselves as victims, “in order to defend their agenda of aggression against the Bolivarian government and against the legitimate president, Hugo Chavez.”
It is thought that the attack may have been a revenge attack for an act of vandalism by opposition supporters against the La Voz de Turmero 97.7 FM community radio station in Santiago MariÃ±o municipality in the early hours of Monday morning.
Venezuela’s Interior and Justice Minister, Tareck El Aissami, said that the Bolivarian Government does not accept violence as a tool to resolve political differences.
“For that reason, we are going to act with determination to safeguard the internal order, peace and calm in the whole national territory,” against any “groups that try to sow fear and violence in the streets.”
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This post was written by Kiraz Janicke