Venezuelan president calls for a boycott on four critical newspapers

By Alejandro Martínez


Video clip in Spanish of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro calling for a boycott on several national media outlets on Dec. 10, 2013.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro called for a boycott on several national newspapers after accusing them of having distorted the results of the recent municipal elections in the country, the Press and Society Institute informed.

According to the organization, Maduro first attacked newspaper El Nacional and its director Miguel Henrique Otero during an oath ceremony for several mayors. During the event, Maduro showed a copy of the newspaper and accused it of producing "journalism turned into nazi propaganda full of lies."

"Don't lose your time buying El Nacional. El Nacional lies, lies and only lies," he said.

Hours later during another event in the state of Anzoátegui, Maduro called for a boycott on newspapers El Universal , Últimas Noticias and El Tiempo, which he called "enclaves of right-wing groups that refuse to tell the truth." He also rejected a story from news agency EFE correspondent José Luis Paniagua, who reported that voter turnout during these municipal elections was lower than during last April's presidential elections.

Maduro has made other calls to boycott critical media outlets, including one against El Nacional on Dec. 9 and another one on Nov. 14 against "bourgeois newspapers."

Government pressures against the Venezuelan press has grown in the last several months. A recent report from the Committee to Protect Journalists highlighted the efforts from Maduro's government to censor media outlets that have been reporting on the country's current economic crisis.

According to a recent presentation from several Venezuelan freedom of expression organizations before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, cases of censorship against journalists and media outlets in the country have increased 87 percent this year compared to 2012.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.