Venezuela pulls two Colombian TV channels off air

CARACAS – Venezuela’s communications regulator Conatel has taken two Colombian television channels – Caracol and RCN – off the air in the name of “censorship”.

No reason was given for the move, but President Nicolás Maduro has accused Colombia and its leader of plotting against his government.

Socialist President Maduro has been critical of international media organisations. In a press conference on Tuesday, he said that the BBC “has become the biggest propaganda apparatus for the military intervention” in Venezuela.

He also said that it was “hard to neutralize the lying power of CNN, Fox News and the BBC”. “They are sowing hate every day,” he said.

Earlier this year, CNN’s Spanish language channel was also stopped from broadcasting in Venezuela.

Commenting on the move, RCN said that “the regime of Nicolás Maduro continues its crusade of censorship against Colombian media”.

The director of Caracol said that while he had not been given an explanation by Conatel, he suspected that the move was related to the coverage the channel had given to the arrival of Luisa Ortega in Colombia.

Ortega, who until recently was Venezuela’s chief prosecutor, has become one of the most outspoken critics of the Maduro government.

At a conference in Brasilia earlier this week, she accused President Maduro and senior officials in his government of corruption, which they have denied. President Maduro said he would ask Interpol to arrest to Ms. Ortega and her husband.