Telesur, a 24-hours television news network that aims to compete with all-news networks such as CNN, has aired a first test signal.
The guiding principle of the Caracas-based network is to "see Latin America with Latin American eyes, not foreign eyes", the network's Uruguayan director, Aram Aharonian said on Monday.
Telesur will have "a news agenda totally different" from "transnational" networks such as CNN and Spain's TVE, Aharonian said
For example "they tell us that there is an alliance to liberate Iraq. We know that it is a genocidal invasion", he said.
The network has seed capital of $2.5 million. Although Aharonian did not comment on the network's ownership, Venezuelan Information Minister Andres Izarra recently said the network was 51%Venezuelan, 20% Argentine, 19% Cuban and 10% Uruguayan.
War of ideas
The network will air breaking news, interviews and investigative reports as well as documentaries and regional films.
Aharonian insisted that Telesur would not be a propaganda instrument for Venezuela and Cuba, but it will rather be "an instrument in the war of ideas".
Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba and
Uruguay own stakes in Telesur
The network will have nine correspondents spread out across the Americas.
Izarra said in early May that the Telesur test signal should last until 24 June, with the full broadcast to begin in mid-September.
Brazil may also participate in Telesur, but the Portuguese-speaking South American giant is working on TV-Brazil, its own network project.
TV-Brazil will air Spanish-language programming and emphasise Latin American unity, Eugenio Bucci, the head of the Brazilian agency coordinating the efforts said.