Venezuela: Forced Shut Down of CNN, Other News Channels

Washington

In response to the Venezuelan government ordering cable providers to take CNN en Español and a second news channel off the air, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The government’s blocking of TV news broadcasts highlights the Maduro administration’s attempt to stifle reporting and debate about its actions, and is an attack on freedom of expression for all Venezuelans,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin America programs. “The government’s claim that CNN’s reporting is intended to cause political unrest is a gross distortion of the workings of a free press.”

Background:

On February 6, CNN en Español aired a story establishing that Venezuelan officials sold passports from the Venezuelan embassy in Iraq, some to suspected terrorists. The Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) said the new report represented "direct aggressions against the peace and democratic stability" of the country and, on February 15, ordered the broadcasts and those of the news channel TV Azteca off the air.

Venezuela is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2017, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2016.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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