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Venezuela arrests DirecTV executives after U.S. firm pulls out

Christian Fernsby |
Venezuelan authorities have jailed three local DirecTV executives under an arrest warrant issued after the company abruptly cut off services to the South American country last month, citing U.S. sanctions against the socialist government, the men's lawyer said.

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Topics: VENEZUELA    DIRECTV    U.S.   

Carlos Villamizar, one of the three men, told reporters in his lawyer's office before surrendering that he had no prior knowledge that the services were being ended and that he was innocent of any crimes.

"I hope there is justice in this country," Villamizar, vice president of strategy for DirecTV, told reporters before surrendering himself.

Villamizar said he was "very, very surprised," at the warrant issued against him and his former colleagues Hector Rivero and Rodolfo Carrano.

He was accompanied by lawyer Jesus Loreto, who said the other two managers had "voluntarily surrendered" to authorities and were being held at the intelligence service headquarters in Caracas, known as El Helicoide.

Under the terms of its pay-TV licence granted by President Nicolas Maduro's government, DirectTV was obliged to carry private news network Globovision and PDVSA TV.

The board of directors at the company that provides the DirecTV service in Venezuela, Galaxy Entertainment, have also been barred from leaving the country.

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