Amid skyrocketing inflation and shortages of basic goods, Venezuelan authorities claim that an “economic war” is being waged against the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro. The government is striking back by forcing stores to discount prices, by arresting business owners accused of hoarding–and by targeting journalists trying to cover the grim economic news.
During his 14 years in power, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez tried to muzzle critical news organizations. Chávez died in March, but the pressure on Venezuela’s remaining independent media outlets is only getting worse under his successor.
New York, August 12, 2013–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the ruling by a Venezuelan judge against two dailies last week that bans the publication of violent photographs and imposes hefty fines, according to news reports.
New York, June 5, 2013–A U.S. filmmaker jailed in Venezuela since April on trumped-up charges of espionage has been freed and deported from the country, news accounts reported today. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of Timothy Hallet Tracy, and calls on Venezuelan authorities to allow all journalists to work without interference.
That didn’t take long. Nine days after the pro-opposition TV station Globovisión was sold to businessmen rumored to have close ties to the Venezuelan government, the station’s new leader was welcomed to Miraflores Palace for a cordial sit-down with President Nicolás Maduro.
If the proposed sale of Globovisión, the single remaining TV station critical of the Venezuelan government, is finalized next month, the broadcaster will almost certainly become less combative and could eventually turn into another government mouthpiece, according to news reports, local journalists, and analysts.