Tuesday 29 November 2022

Another blow to freedom of expression in Venezuela

President Nicolás Maduro closed 34 radio stations in recent months

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29 November 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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Q24N – The National Association of Journalists of Venezuela (CNPVEN) denounced this Saturday that the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro closed 34 radio stations in recent months. Through its account on Twitter, it detailed the number of closures and the states where these abuses occurred.

“The Maduro government continues to attack freedom of expression, the right to information and access to information in Venezuela. In recent months, at the National Association of Journalists we have been denouncing and observing with concern an escalation in the closure of radio stations that only in the month of September accounted for 16, with Zulia being the most affected state, followed by Sucre,” it indicated.

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And it continued: “In the month of July in Cojedes, 14 stations were closed. In Portuguesa 2 recently and 2 are added in Carabobo, yesterday Unión Radio Valencia 105.3 FM Play Top Radio 91.5 FM, which would add some 34 stations closed in recent months only in 5 states of the country.

“This evidences, without a doubt, a new government attack of its so-called ‘communicational hegemony’ executed by Conatel (the National Telecommunications Commission of Venezuela) and that, it is nothing more than to continue bringing informational and communicational obscurantism to the entire world. country,” it said.

The CNPVEN then stressed that, “to all this, the selective blockades that are applied daily to the different information portals and the constant power and Internet failures are added, which undoubtedly contribute to the policy of censorship promoted by the Venezuelan State that It has placed us on the greatest threshold of informative obscurantism”.

The National Association of Journalists denounced in another message: “To all this is added that the national headquarters of the CNP Cantv took away the 2 telephone lines and has had no Internet for more than 4 months, the proceedings before the telephone have been unsuccessful and less the public complaints. We denounce that the closure of 34 stations in recent months, the selective blockades, the electricity and Internet failures show that CENSORSHIP IN VENEZUELA is intensifying”.

And it concluded: “We remind citizens that informing is not a crime and that freedom of expression and information are human rights guaranteed in the Constitution.”

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Without democracy there is no freedom of the press, one cannot think without the other. And, as democracy broke down in Venezuela, so did freedom of expression.

The data is overwhelming, all reliable sources – Reporters Without Borders, the Press and Society Institute of Venezuela, the prestigious NGO Espacio Público, for example – throw the same scenario: one in which journalists are persecuted by security forces, censorship bodies track down to the commas what is being said on social networks, critical media lose their licenses, run out of printing paper or have their equipment stolen, journalists are imprisoned and tortured, many are forced into exile and society from one moment to another is left without an Internet connection.

This is how Venezuelans live, in the informative obscurantism.

“Violence against journalists has no cost in Venezuela. If a police officer beats up a journalist in the street, you will not find any official who condemns or questions him. There is a task of permanent intimidation”, Carlos Correa, president of Espacio Público, the NGO that promotes freedom of expression, the right to information and social responsibility in the media, explained to Infobae in an interview published in 2020. The organization, a reference on the matter in Venezuela, documents the attacks on journalists and warns about the situation on a daily basis.

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The preferred victims of the regime are the critical local media, but also the large platforms consolidated worldwide. For example, Infobae is censored in Venezuela. On October 10, 2014, the regime blocked access to the site throughout its territory and, since then, it has been banned.

Between 2014 and 2019, Venezuela fell 32 places in the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, ranking 147th out of 180 countries. The documented cases -they explain- include intimidation, judicial harassment and direct threats. Most of the victims were journalists.

 

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Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

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