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Venezuela orders CNN off the air due to its “direct aggressions” against the country

The Venezuelan government pulled CNN’s Spanish-language network off the air this week in response to critical coverage of president Nicolás Maduro’s administration.

The National Telecommunications Commission said in a Feb. 15 statement (link in Spanish) that it had sanctioned CNN en Español for broadcasting content that “constitutes direct aggressions that threaten the peace and the democratic stability of our Venezuelan people.”

The decision comes a few days after CNN aired an investigation into an alleged scheme to sell fraudulent passports and visas at Venezuela’s embassy in Iraq. Venezuelan officials have denied the report, and Maduro on Sunday lambasted CNN during his weekly address. “I want CNN very far away from here,” he said. “CNN out of Venezuela” (link in Spanish).

Maduro’s administration has a history of being openly hostile to local media, and now appears to be cracking down on international press as well. Over the weekend, Venezuelan authorities arrested two Brazilian journalists who were covering the international fallout of a corruption scandal that originated in their country.

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