New York, December 17, 2018–Venezuela’s biggest independent daily, El Nacional, printed its last edition on December 14, its editor and owner Miguel Henrique Otero announced. In an interview published in the paper, Otero, who manages the paper from self-imposed exile in Madrid, said that El Nacional would be available online only because of restrictions that the government imposed on access to newsprint. El Nacional, which was founded in 1943, covers politics and has reported critically on President Nicolás Maduro’s government. CPJ has documented how over 20 Venezuelan publications have been forced out of print due to government restrictions on newsprint.
“The disappearance of El Nacional’s print edition is the latest casualty of the Venezuelan government’s ever-expanding campaign to silence critical reporting and limit the voices of independent media in the country,” said CPJ Central and South America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick. “The administration of President Nicolás Maduro must respect the right of all Venezuelans to be informed and ensure independent newspapers have access to all the materials they need to continue publishing.”