Request for U.S. to use Guyana’s airwaves to transmit to Venezuela denied
It has been revealed that the Government of Guyana in April turned down a request from the US Government to relay the Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcasts to Venezuela.
President David Granger in a comment to the media through his press unit said the request was refused so as not to further destabilise relations between the two neighbours.
He noted that “given the length of an unpoliced western border, the influx of refugees, the unsettled territorial question and the public health risks, it would not be in our national interest to do anything to contribute to destabilising relations at this time.”
The US Broadcasting Board of Governors requested the use of one of the four Medium Wave (MW) towers Guyana has registered – 560kHz.
They also asked whether Guyana would be open to issuing a license to VOA to put a new signal on MW, either on an existing allocated frequency or a new one and if so, whether the power can be increased to 50kW either on an existing frequency or a new one.
The US has in the past imposed severe sanctions on Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro and several Government officials for human rights abuses and other issues.
The US also recognises interim President Juan Guaido and considers the Venezuelan National Assembly, which he currently leads, to be the only legitimate federal institution, according to the Venezuelan Constitution.
According to local media reports, the US Government said was interested in broadcasting VOA in Venezuela so citizens can have access to uncensored news.
AT&T -the largest player in Venezuela’s pay TV market which was one of the last major American companies still operating in the crisis-wracked country, closed its operations there in May 2020.
The company said U.S. sanctions prohibit its DIRECTV platform from broadcasting channels that it is required to carry by the Maduro administration.