Venezuela takes CNN off the air, accusing it of misinformation
PUBLISHED Wed, February 15, 2017 - 4:58pm EST
Credit: Beatriz Adrian
The Venezuelan government has ordered CNN en Español to be taken off the air immediately, accusing the Spanish-language network of misrepresenting the truth against the country's government. (more)
Venezuela's National Commission of Telecommunications (Conatel) announced its decision on Wednesday, just days after CNN aired a report that angered the government. Viewers in Venezuela reported that the signal of CNN en Español could no longer be received.
Although the government did not point to a specific incident, a statement from Conatel accused CNN of misrepresenting and distorting the truth to undermine the country's government. As such, the agency has ordered the immediate suspension of CNN en Español.
The statement did not specify whether the suspension is temporary or permanent.
Wednesday's announcement came just days after CNN en Español reported on allegations that the Venezuelan Embassy in Iraq had sold passports and visas for thousands of dollars, including to people with alleged ties to terrorism. CNN said its reporting was the result of a year-long investigation.
The Venezuelan government has denied CNN's reporting. President Nicolás Maduro, speaking on Sunday, expressed his desire for CNN to be "well away from here", stating that media outlets such as CNN were 'manipulating information'.
CNN has released the following statement:
"At CNN en Español we believe in the vital role that freedom of press plays in a healthy democracy. Today the government of Venezuela pulled our television signal, denying Venezuelans news and information from our television network, which they have relied upon for 20 years. CNN en Español will continue to fulfill its responsibility to the Venezuelan public by offering our live signal on YouTube free of charge and news links on CNNEspanol.com, so they may have access to information not available to them in any other way. This happens days after we aired our investigation “Passports in the Shadows” which revealed that Venezuelan authorities may have issued passports and visas to people with ties to terrorism. CNN stands by our network’s reporting and our commitment to truth and transparency."