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Argentina gives Hugo Chavez press freedom award

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds up the Rodolfo Walsh prize he was awarded by the University of La Plata in La Plata, Argentina, Tuesday March 29, 2011. Chavez received the Rodolfo Walsh journalism award "for his unquestionable and authentic commitment" to giving people without voice access to the airwaves and newspapers. The statue reads in Spanish "Operation Massacre," the title of Walsh's 1957 book.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been given a press freedom award during a visit to Argentina. The University of La Plata said it was honouring him for his efforts to break "media monopolies" in Latin America and support "popular communication". Since becoming president in 1999 Chavez has set up the Telesur network, which offers a state-funded alternative to private television stations across Latin America, says a BBC News report.

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He has also funded a major expansion of state-funded media in Venezuela that support his left-wing politics. And he has been involved in a long-running battle with private media companies in Venezuela, who he has accused of supporting efforts to overthrow him. New regulations have forced the closure of many pro-opposition radio and cable television stations, although independent newspapers and websites still operate.

Opposition groups and some media organisations in Argentina and Venezuela have criticised the decision to give Chavez the Rodolfo Walsh prize, which is named after and Argentine journalist who disappeared during military rule in the 1970s.

Date posted: March 31, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 183