Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is helping launch a television network to counteract what he calls “the media dictatorship of the big international news networks.” Telesur, scheduled to begin broadcasting in July, will give the left-leaning Chavez and allies in Cuba, Brazil, and other Latin American countries an outlet for news from their perspective—much like Al-Jazeera does for the Arab world. “We will see our own reality on the air,” said Telesur’s director, Aram Aharonian. But critics say Chavez, who has survived a coup attempt and a recall election, is trying to monopolize the airwaves. In March, his government amended Venezuela’s criminal code, making it a crime to insult his government.
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