Venezuela To Sue CNN
Venezuela says it will file charges against US cable network CNN for linking President Hugo Chavez to Al Qaeda. It says it will also sue a Venezuelan TV network for encouraging Mr Chavez's assassination. The move comes a day after popular Venezuelan TV network RCTV went off the air after the Chavez Government cancelled its broadcast licence. Information Minister William Lara has presented what he says is CNN footage displaying pictures of Mr Chavez juxtaposed with those of an Al Qaeda leader. Mr Lara says CNN also aired a story about the Venezuelan protests but used images taken in Mexico of an unrelated story. "CNN broadcast a lie which linked President Chavez to violence and murder," he said. CNN has issued a statement strongly denying being "engaged in a campaign to discredit or attack Venezuela".The news network has acknowledged a video mix-up and "aired a detailed correction and expressed regret for the involuntary error". Regarding the Al Qaeda leader, the network says "unrelated news stories can be juxtaposed in a given program segment just as a newspaper page or a news website may have unconnected stories adjacent to each other". The Venezuelan Government has also filed charges against local network Globovision for what it says was indirectly encouraging Mr Chavez's murder by airing footage of the 1981 assassination attempt on late pope John Paul II. "In my view, this television network, in this specific part of its programming, committed the offence of incitement to assassination against the Venezuelan head of state," Mr Lara said. The charges come amid protests against Mr Chavez's shutdown of RCTV, a privately-owned broadcaster of popular comedy and drama shows that was boldly critical of the Venezuelan President. After 54 years on the air, RCTV went black at midnight on Sunday after the Government refused to renew its licence. It was promptly replaced by TVes, a state-backed socialist station that began broadcasting cultural shows. On Monday, several people were injured as Caracas police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to put down a demonstration against the RCTV shutdown.