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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007, 05:31 GMT 06:31 UK
Chavez supporters back TV closure
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez waves to supporters during a rally in Caracas (2 June 2007)
Mr Chavez accused said the US was orchestrating a "gentle coup"
Tens of thousands of supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have marched to show they back his decision to close an opposition TV network.

Radio Caracas TV openly called for Mr Chavez to be removed from power during a failed coup attempt in 2002.

Mr Chavez told his supporters to be vigilant because his opponents were planning another attempt to topple him.

The demonstration came a day after large numbers of students took to the streets to protest against the closure.

The opposition activists believe the president is limiting freedom of expression.

'Gentle coup'

Speaking to the supporters who marched through Caracas under the slogan "democratising television and radio" on Saturday, Mr Chavez accused the US government or trying to orchestrate a "gentle coup" by using the private media, the opposition and students.

I've made a call to the private media... make no mistake, watch carefully where you tread
Hugo Chavez

"I've made a call to the private media... make no mistake, watch carefully where you tread," Mr Chavez said.

"If the bourgeoisie of Venezuela continues to become desperate, and continues to try to undermine the Bolivarian people of Venezuela, they will continue losing their possessions one by one. One by one!" he said.

Mr Chavez also had a warning for the neighbouring Brazil, whose Senate formally requested on Wednesday that he reconsider his decision to close RCTV.

"In all of Latin America, in Brazil, the Congress, the congressional committee of Brazil said something very vulgar," he said.

"We don't accept interferences from anybody about internal Venezuelan matters. From absolutely nobody," he added.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva defended his country's MPs and told Mr Chavez to mind his own business.

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