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Venezuela: Press Freedom

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 20 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the freedom of the press in Venezuela. (143220)

Along with EU partners, the UK has been closely monitoring recent events in Venezuela. We are concerned at the Venezuelan Government’s decision not to renew the broadcasting licence for the private media organisation RCTV. The UK strongly supported the EU presidency’s robust statement, which noted with concern the Venezuelan Government’s decision, and recalled undertakings made by the Venezuelan authorities to hold an open competition for the successor licence.

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, raised our concerns on freedom of expression and freedom of the press with the Venezuelan Vice-Minister for European Affairs on 14 June, noting the non-renewal of RCTV’s licence. My noble Friend Lord Triesman stressed that the UK wanted to see as many broadcasters operating in Venezuela as possible, with as few restrictions as possible.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely, in consultation with our EU partners.