Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has threatened to expel CNN from the country after he accused the network of waging a “propaganda war” amid ongoing protests, according to local news reports.
According to Mexico’s El Universal, Maduro accused CNN of misrepresenting the protests as a “civil war.”
“I’ve asked the (information) minister to tell CNN we have started the administrative process to remove them from Venezuela if they don’t rectify (their behaviour),” Maduro said on state TV, according to Reuters. “Enough! I won’t accept war propaganda against Venezuela.”
Local and state television networks have broadcast almost no coverage of opposition-led press conferences and news, which has left Venezuelans turning to CNN Español for television coverage.
A Colombia-based network, NTN24, was taken off the air in Venezuela last week after providing live coverage of the protests. Some social networks, including Twitter, have also been restricted in some cases. These acts drew criticism from the organisation Reporters Without Borders, which called them “arbitrary acts of censorship.”
A CNN spokesperson said the network didn’t immediately have comment on the threat from Maduro.
The protests against Maduro’s government have been ongoing for weeks, but only recently turned violent. On Feb. 12, they garnered more attention when three people were killed. Various factors have contributed to the protests, including the scarcity of basic goods, high crime rates, and out-of-control inflation.
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