The government of Venezuela ordered cable providers to pull CNN en Español on Wednesday evening after CNNEE investigated the government’s issuing of passports and visas.
The investigation found that the government granted passports and visas to people associated with terrorism. Furthermore, Vice President Tareck El Aissami was associated with 173 issued passports and visas that went to people in the Middle East, some of whom were connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez accused CNN of conducting an “imperialistic media operation.” The National Telecommunications Commission said that CNN was violating the Constitution with their report and ordered cable providers to cut its feed as a preventive measure. CNN International remains on the air in the country.
CNNEE responded by putting their feed on YouTube to stream for free. A spokesman for CNNEE said, “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.”
CNN has become a target of the government in Venezuela. Days ago, President Nicolas Maduro said, “CNN, do not get into the affairs of Venezuelans. I want CNN well away from here. Outside of Venezuela. Do not put your nose in Venezuela.”