Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez spoke last week at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the launch of Venezuela’s communications satellite Venesat-1. Chavez confirmed the satellite’s operability, denying rumours of technical failure or straying out of orbit. He said that so far 1,500 satellite receivers had been installed, mainly at schools, and 16,000 more would be deployed across the country in the coming five years. Venesat-1 was made in China with an investment of USD420 million, including training, transfer of technology and construction of electrical substations. Launched from China on 30 October 2008, the Venezuelan government received operational control of the satellite on 10 January and state-owned telco CANTV commenced offering services via Venesat-1 that month.