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Latin America market round up: Chávez watch

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has responded with scorn to criticisms that his refusal to renew the licence of opposition TV channel RCTV amounts to a direct assault on freedom of speech. The popular channel, which Chávez accuses of having supported an attempted coup in 2002, stopped broadcasting on May 27, leaving the country bereft of many of its favourite soap operas and comedy shows, and also of any mainstream anti-Chávez television. Chávez described as "laughable" the passing of condemnatory motions by both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington and the European Parliament. The president clearly fancies himself as something of a media mogul: Venezuela is to give Danny "Lethal Weapon" Glover $18 million for a film about the Haitian slave uprising.

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