Venezuelan National Assembly representative and lawyer Carlos Escarrá on Friday rejected an argument presented by TV station RCTV International claiming that it did not have to observe the Law of Social Responsibility on Radio and Television. RCTV stated that it considers that the technical norms established by the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) violate the principle of non retroactivity.
According to the communications company, the provision issued by CONATEL, which sets up RCTV as a national producer and hence requires that it obey specific laws, violates one characteristic element of the law. Nevertheless, this argument was strongly rejected by Escarrá.
During an interview broadcasted by National Radio of Venezuela, the member of the National Assembly explained, “It’s about applying a current law to a fact carried out in the past. The facts that paved the way for CONATEL’s decision were developed during all this period of time. The signal was suspended on January 22, when the technical norms had come into effect already.”
Escarrá affirmed that international allegations against the decision taken by the Venezuelan government demanding observance of the law are baseless, since RCTV is the only station that has refused to obey the norms.
“Firstly, they never obeyed [the law]. Secondly, they had time in which to hand in the papers, the programming, the requirements, but they never wanted to do it,” emphasized Escarrá.
These failures paved the way for the government’s verification of relevant technical norms, which –as Escarrá explained—“came from the Supreme Court of Justice.”
Venezuelan cable and satellite operators suspended RCTV's (also known as “RCTV International”) signal for irregularities and for not submitting paperwork and documentation required by CONATEL. Nevertheless, the station is still broadcasting in countries such as Aruba.
RCTV is the only station in Venezuela that has not handed in the required papers; therefore, it has been excluded from programming carried by cable and satellite operators in Venezuela.
Bolivarian News Agency (ABN), Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the Unites States Press and Communications Office / February 6, 2010