Nicolás Maduro sinks even lower, censoring German broadcaster in Venezuela

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the decision by President Nicolás Maduro’s government to block the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s Spanish-language transmissions in Venezuela after it highlighted Venezuelan corruption in a broadcast.

Deutsche Welle (DW) joined the long list of international and national media that the Venezuelan government has censored in the past ten years after President Maduro lashed out at DW, calling it a “Nazi” broadcaster, in his weekly programme on Venezuela’s public TV channel VTVIn a report about corruption in Latin America, DW highlighted the alleged involvement of senior Venezuelan government politicians in drug trafficking, illegal mining and extortion. The signal of DW’s Spanish-language TV channel was blocked the same day by the National Commission of Telecommunications (CONATEL). The channel can now be accessed only via the DW website and social media.

In the past ten years, the Maduro government has censored more than ten foreign media channels or broadcasts. They include the Colombian international news channel NTN24, which was suspended during major student protests against the government in 2014. Throughout 2017, when the government was cracking down violently on a wave of protests, broadcasts by such international media such as the Mexican channel TV Azteca, the Colombian channel El Tiempo TV, the Argentine channel TN and the US channel CNN en Español were also censored.

“Nicolás Maduro has yet again displayed a pathological intolerance to journalism. The frequency with which the Venezuelan state censors the media is appalling and without parallel in South America. This decision is the exact opposite of what is expected from the government during this pre-election period, which should be marked by an expansion of the space for democracy and pluralism. We ask the government to restore the signals of censored TV channels and we point out that without press freedom there are no democratic elections.

Artur Romeu
director of RSF’s Latin America bureau

Venezuela is ranked 159th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2023 World Press Freedom Index.

156/ 180
Score : 33.06
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