Pro-Chávez unionists go after local radio host in Venezuela

Members of the Construction Union, a majority of which are affiliated with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela, threatened and tried to censor journalists on Nov. 28, in the southeastern state of Barinas, reported the Press and Society Institute (IPYS in Spanish).

José Luis Machín, host of the Rádio Sensacional program "Speaking with the neighbors," received a phone call from union leaders threatening him not to interview critics of the union, which has been accused of kidnapping and killings, according to IPYS.

In another case, people that preferred not to be identified accused the state-linked newspaper De Frente of receiving orders not to publish critical news about the Construction Union.

The Chávez administration has a tense relationship with the media, punishing opposition outlets with closures, license suspensions, smear campaigns and judicial charges.