May 28, 2007 / 4:33 AM / 12 years ago

FACTBOX: Chavez's thorny dealings with Venezuelan media

(Reuters) - Venezuela replaced opposition channel RCTV on Monday with one promoting President Hugo Chavez’s self-proclaimed socialist revolution.

Following are some key events in the former soldier’s relationship with the media since he took office in 1999, including frequent clashes with newspapers and television stations.

1998 - Newspapers and TV stations broadly supported Chavez’s presidential campaign, which promised to redistribute oil wealth and reshape Venezuela’s notoriously corrupt politics.

1999 - Chavez forces private radio and TV stations to broadcast his hours-long speeches, blocking regular programming with political announcements or political commentary.

2001 - Chavez warns media following reports of military corruption, telling news channel Globovision “I should remind you that I could revoke that concession at any moment.”

April 2002 - TV stations back opposition efforts to oust Chavez through a bungled coup, then turned their cameras off when his supporters’ protests help return him to power.

December 2002 - Private media joined a two-month strike meant to force Chavez from office. TV stations suspended regular programming to show anti-Chavez marches and propaganda.

2003 to 2007 - Chavez’s government creates four TV stations and backs scores of community and alternative newspapers and radio stations.

2004 - Venevision owner Gustavo Cisneros meets Chavez and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, agreeing to soften the private station’s editorial line. Chavez had called Cisneros the country’s “biggest coup leader,” accusing him of involvement in the 2002 coup.

2005 - Government investigators arraign journalists after media reports of blackmail by a prosecutor close to the government who was slain in a car-bombing.

February 2007 - A court fines opposition newspaper Tal Cual $19,000 for violating child protection laws by publishing a farcical letter to Chavez’s school-age daughter.

May 2007 - Opposition-linked station RCTV prepares to go off the air after losing its broadcast license.

With additional reporting by Patricia Rondon

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