Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government is to obtain a minority ownership stake in the opposition-aligned television channel Globovision as authorities seize the assets of a bank where they allege irregularities.
Chavez said during a speech on Tuesday that authorities have determined that 25.8 per cent of shares in Globovision belong to Banco Federal owner Nelson Mezerhane and will go the government as it covers the deposits of customers in the bank. The government took over the bank last month citing financial problems and irregularities.
"Mezerhane has 20% of shares of Globovision and another company that has 5.8%, adding the two that gives 25.8%. In the coming days interventora Board of the Federal Bank is obliged to appoint a representative in the Board of Directors of Globovision," said President Chavez at the graduation of the II promotion from the police national, at the Teatro Teresa Carreño.
Chavez said that they would appoint a representative to the board of Globovisión, naming Alberto Nolia or Mario Silva who worked for the State television channel.
Chavez said the state may recieve another 20% of the television channel after shareholder Luis Teófilo Núñez died. Chavez claimed that media ownership stakes were not inheritable, so the stake will be transferred to the government.
"Adding 25.8%, with 20% and get 45.8% of Globovision. Compadre (…) no one can say that we are expropriating. We're incorporating ourselves into the business," he said. "We will defend the interest of shareholders — pure capitalism."