Mérida, February 23rd 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) — The president of the public broadcasting station Venezuelan Social Television (TVES), William Castillo, denied harsh allegations made last week by former TVES Director Esteban Trapiello, who said the management had deviated from its purpose of being an outlet for Venezuela’s independent and low-budget producers.
“None of the directors of this station will respond in the offensive and disrespectful terms that have been used to attack us, which make up part of the media strategy to produce scandal and set up matrices of negative opinions,” wrote Castillo in an official statement. “We are respectful of the law and we believe in our institutions.”
Castillo invited Trapiello to present evidence that supports his accusations to national investigators, and said TVES’s directors had already solicited an audit by both a private auditor and Venezuela’s top anti-corruption watchdog agency before Trapiello made his accusations.
“We are indeed the most interested in investigations of the management of TVES, so that appropriate disciplinary actions may be taken,” Castillo stated.
In nationally televised statements last week, Trapiello accused the TVES management of purchasing over-priced programs, including soap operas and NBA basketball games, from firms in Mexico and other countries. This violates TVES’s charter, which establishes a quota for nationally and independently produced programs that are educational and socially responsible in nature, said Trapiello.
“President [Hugo Chávez] and his government signed a charter on May 11th  that has been violated by all the directors of TVES,” said Trapiello, who emphasized that he is a socialist and a supporter of the Bolivarian Revolution.
Trapiello said the station is in a “ridiculous” condition, and that mismanagement is to blame for TVES’s low ratings, poor signal, lack of viewers compared to channels conceded to private broadcasters, and absence from the internet.
A national investigation of TVES is planned for this year, according to Castillo.
TVES, an independently managed state foundation, was granted a public broadcasting concession in May 2007. TVES replaced the private station Radio Caracas Television (RCTV), whose twenty-year concession expired and was not renewed because RCTV had repeatedly violated the Law on Social Responsibility in Radio and Television, and had aided the two-day coup against President Hugo Chávez in April 2002 by broadcasting false information and concealing events during the coup.