Canada Concerned over Venezuelan Suspension of TV Stations

(No. 46 - January 28, 2010 - 11 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today issued the following statement expressing his concern over the suspension of Venezuelan cable television stations and the recent loss of life during protests related to this matter:

"Canada is concerned over the Venezuelan government's recent suspension of broadcasting of six television stations and the death of two students in protests related to this action. These events are further evidence of a shrinking democratic space in Venezuela.

"Freedom of expression and access to information from a wide range of sources are fundamental elements of a healthy democracy. Canada urges the Government of Venezuela to immediately restore the transmissions of the six affected stations.

"During my recent visit to Venezuela, I heard many individuals and organizations express concerns related to violations of the right to freedom of expression and other basic liberties. I encourage the Venezuelan government and all Venezuelans to work together peacefully in promoting these fundamental democratic values."

For more information on Canada's relations with Venezuela, visit Canada-Venezuela Relations.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Eleanor Johnston
Senior Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
613-947-8981

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874