Statement by Venevision President Victor Ferreres on Government Raid

CARACAS, Venezuela--()--June 12, 2004--Venevision President Victor Ferreres today issued a statement on the Friday, June 11, 2004, raid of its offices.

"Once again, Venevision's employees and directors are the target of unjustified and unfounded accusations by government officials against our firm. Venevision serves the public's demands for entertainment and information through its national broadcast network. Venevision has never been involved with any illegal or criminal activities.

"Gustavo Cisneros is a highly regarded defender of democracy, its institutions, and its legal framework. Any effort to weaken his image will be dismissed both in Venezuela and by the international community, as his long-standing track record and the values and ethics he instills in the companies under his leadership are well known in Venezuela and abroad.

"On Friday June 11, 2004, Lt. Joel Febres Velasco, Fernando Jesus Rosales Castro, and Sub-Lt. Pedro Jose Rodriguez, both military officials supported by DISIP (Intelligence Services) executing a writ from "Juzgado Militar Tercero de Primera Instancia Permanente de Caracas raided the Guadalupana facility. This building is located across from the main headquarters of Venevision in the "La Colina" sector of Caracas. The raid was clearly intended to link Venevision with a recent event staged at the Daktari Farm allegedly involving paramilitary groups.

"The raid on the Guadalupana facility clearly aims at promoting a state of alarm and distress among the workers and employees of Venevision and their families. It is another step in the ongoing campaign of slander and defamation initiated by the executive branch against Gustavo Cisneros. The government has previously effected two other raids against his properties Hacienda Carabobo and Campamento Manaka.

"Upon entering the building, the officials proceeded immediately and directly to the basement, as if they knew that they would find there a number of firearms. This only increases our suspicions that this raid is part of an effort by the government to discredit Mr. Cisneros.

"If we lived in nation governed by the rule of law, we would trust the investigations and their outcome to be transparent and truthful, which is a given in those states where democracy and freedom are respected and the rights of every citizen are guaranteed.

"The authors of this campaign can rest assured that neither accusation, nor raids, nor threats, nor coercion, will modify our longstanding commitment to democracy and the rule of law."

Contacts

Venevision
Antonieta Lopez, 58 212 7089047 (Caracas, Venezuela)

Contacts

Venevision
Antonieta Lopez, 58 212 7089047 (Caracas, Venezuela)