Caracas, 12 February 2010, (venezuelanalysis.com) – Internal differences within Venezuela’s opposition aligned television channel Globovision forced the resignation of its director general Alberto Federico Ravell last Wednesday night.
In a message posted on his Twitter account Ravell said his involuntary departure was due to “differences” with other shareholders over prospective changes to the “Hello Citizen” program – a rightwing current affairs show counter-posed to left-wing President Hugo Chavez’s television program “Hello President”.
“I didn’t quit, they asked me to resign” Ravell posted on Twitter. The former director general who owns 10 percent of Globovision said he will give a press conference next Wednesday together with Leopoldo Castillo who hosts Hello Citizen.
A day after Ravell’s exit a Venezuelan judge lifted a travel ban on Globovision’s majority shareholder Guillermo Zuloaga, who owns 70 percent of the channel and is under investigation for usury. The lifting of the travel ban prompted rumours in the media that Zuloaga had done a deal with the government agreeing to change the political line of its programming.
However, Zuloaga denied that the issues were related, saying that the charges against him have not been dropped. Ravell also denied that his dismissal was due to government pressure.
Globovision has released a statement saying it will continue its political line of opposition to the Chavez government.
The television channel is closely connected to the U.S. backed rightwing opposition in Venezuela and in April 2002 participated in a short-lived military coup against the democratically elected Chavez. The coup was subsequently overturned by massive popular mobilizations, together with a loyal section of the armed forces.