It isn’t just Donald Trump who is picking on CNN. CNN’s Spanish-language service, CNN en Español, has been kicked off air in Venezuela.
Venezuela’s government ordered the country’s cable systems to take the channel down just days after CNN aired an investigation into the fraudulent issuing of Venezuelan passports and visas. CNN “instigates religious, racial and political hatred,” violence and other themes, National Telecommunications Commission Director Andres Eloy Mendez said Thursday morning on public broadcaster VTV.
The Commission told cable companies to pull CNN en Español’s signal immediately. It called the action a preventative measure and did not say when CNN en Español would be allowed back on air.
Mendez told VTV that the decision is connected to “the constitutional and human guarantees of all citizens.” He read a statement in which he said CNN’s reports “defame and distort the truth” and “threaten the peace and democratic stability of our Venezuelan nation, as they generate a climate of intolerance.”
Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez accused CNN of performing what she defined as an “imperialistic media operation” against her country in last week’s broadcast of the year-long investigation.
The CNN report which started off the problem was an investigation (“Passports in the Shadows”) which included allegations that Venezuelan passports were given to people with ties to terrorism. CNN’s report revealed a confidential intelligence document that links Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami to 173 Venezuelan passports and IDs issued to individuals from the Middle East, including people connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah.
CNN, in a statement, said: “CNN en Español will continue to fulfill its responsibility to the Venezuelan public by offering our live signal on YouTube free of charge and news links on CNNEspanol.com, so they may have access to information not available to them in any other way.
CNN International, Turner’s English-language news channel, remains available to viewers in Venezuela.