Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused foreign media and the U.S. government of misrepresenting the country and of participating in a collective plot to overthrow the Venezuelan government, Bloomberg reported.
Twenty journalists were attacked, and eleven were arrested during the protests that took place in several cities across Venezuela last week, says a report issued by the Media Workers National Press Union (SNTP).
Following the closure of a dozen Venezuelan newspapers due to the country’s paper shortage crisis, hundreds of journalists and journalism students marched down the streets of Caracas on Jan. 28 calling the government to sell foreign currencies to print media outlets so they can purchase much-needed newsprint. The journalists said they will continue to protest until the government resolves the situation, newspaper El Nacional reported.
Since 2003, a currency exchange system in Venezuela has prevented businesses from importing certain products without first purchasing foreign currencies provided by the state. In 2012, newsprint, which is not produced in the country, was listed as not being a priority item, forcing newspapers to file requests with the government for foreign currencies in order to import it.
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.
The Venezuelan government is suppressing news about the economic crisis in the country through attacks on journalists and the media, according to a report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
U.S. journalist Jim Wyss recounted his detainment for almost 48 hours by the Venezuelan authorities in an article published on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
The detention of three Venezuelan reporters on Nov. 2 by the Military Police, which lasted over seven hours, continues to generate outrage among the media community after it was discovered that the government had summoned the journalists to the conference where they were detained.
So far this year, there have been 71 cases of censorship of journalists and media in Venezuela, meaning 87 percent more cases than there were over the same period last year, according to Venezuelan organizations that defend freedom of expression and information access that spoke about the situation in their country on Oct. 31 before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) during its 149th session.
The last six months represented the worst semester for journalists in the Americas in the last five years, according to the Inter American Press Association, news agency EFE reported. The killing of journalists and the various government measures that restrict access to information were some of the reasons that IAPA cited during its General Assembly, which took place in Denver last weekend.