Venezuela bans CNN en Español broadcasts
Venezuela's Conatel telecommunications commission on Wednesday launched an "administrative sanction procedure" against CNN en Español for "allegedly" attacking "the peace and democratic stability" of the South American country.
CNN en Español's feed was cut off after it broadcast a story alleging that Venezuelan passports were being sold to Middle Eastern citizens, a report that drew harsh criticism from Caracas.
Calling the cable news network's negative reporting "systematic and repeated," Conatel released a statement saying it ordered the "immediate" feed cutoff as a "preventive measure."
Several cable operators in Venezuela stopped transmitting CNN en Español minutes after part of Conatel's statement was read on state-run television channel VTV, EFE determined.
Conatel said that the network's content was a "direct attack on the peace and democratic stability" of Venezuela.
In addition, it added that the content creates a "climate of intolerance" given that "without proof" the network was defaming Venezuela and distorting the truth.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez earlier on Wednesday called a CNN en Español report on an alleged network selling Venezuelan passports to citizens of Middle Eastern countries an "absolute lie," adding that the source for the story, Misael Lopez, is a "criminal."
"The CNN en Español television channel began a psychological warfare operation, war propaganda operation against our country ... Everything that you are trying to sell on that program is an absolute lie," said the foreign minister in a press conference regarding the report broadcast by the US cable news network.
She said it was "very serious" that CNN, which she accused of being in the "service of the military-political agencies of the United States," had broadcast a report in which it was trying to "link" the Venezuelan government with the "alleged trafficking in passports to aid terrorism."