U.S.-based 'CNN en Español' became unavailable on some cable providers minutes after a statement by telecommunications regulator Conatel announcing the suspension
, photo: Wikipedia
11 months ago
CARACAS – President Nicolas Maduro's government ordered the suspension of CNN's Spanish-language service from Venezuela's airwaves on Wednesday, accusing it of distorting the truth in coverage. U.S.-based 'CNN en Español' became unavailable on some cable providers minutes after a statement by telecommunications regulator Conatel announcing the suspension. The network had irked the socialist government with various reports, including one alleging that Venezuelan passports and visas were being sold illegally at the embassy in Iraq. Maduro at the weekend had told CNN to "get out" of Venezuela after accusing it of manipulating comments by a student who had told him on live TV of problems at a school, including students fainting from hunger. "They defame and distort the truth ...inciting aggression against the sovereignty of Venezuela and its institutions," regulator Conatel said in its statement. [caption id="attachment_48893" align="aligncenter" width="1033"] Screengrab from Conatel's website[/caption] "Conatel ordered as a precautionary measure the suspension ... of all CNN en Español transmissions in the national territory." Foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez also lambasted CNN on Wednesday, saying the whistleblower in the passports' story was an opposition-linked Venezuelan working for "imperialist" intelligence agencies. "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," said a CNN statement, adding that its signal would be available for free on YouTube. The spat with the network has come at a delicate time in U.S.-Venezuelan ties after Washington this week blacklisted Maduro's Vice President Tareck El Aissami on drug charges in the first bilateral flare-up under new U.S. President Donald Trump. Venezuelan officials have reacted furiously to that, though they appear to be trying to avoid provoking Trump. "I don't want problems with Trump," Maduro said on TV on Wednesday, adding that CNN had become "an instrument of war."