Text of report in English by Venezuelan newspaper El Universal website on 16 February
Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Jesse Chacon said Hugo Chavez' Government expects to reach an agreement with owners of TV channel RCTV to purchase transmission equipment, antennas and towers, "otherwise, the law provides for very clear mechanisms to expropriate assets in the public interest". He explained that RCTV platform can only be used on the broadcasting frequencies on which they are currently operating.
He added that the Venezuelan State is ready to pay a fair price, as determined by experts.
According to Chacon, next 28 May - the date when RCTV broadcasting licence will expire - public service television will be launched in Venezuela on the frequency RCTV is using now.
He denied claims that non-renewal of the broadcasting licence to RCTV is retaliation. "On 13 April 2002 , Venezuelans expected all the media taking part in the coup to be closed down. We have let the judiciary take the relevant steps, we let the Attorney General Office file a case, and let courts rule. We have not acted running counter the law."
He claimed that under the law governing telecommunications in Venezuela , the State has no obligation to renew broadcasting licences.
Source: El Universal website, Caracas, in English 16 Feb 07