EspañolOn Thursday, the Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information (MINCI) told CNN en Español reporter Fernando del Rincón that the government has decided not to give him the credentials required by law to practice journalism in Venezuela.
Del Rincón received MINCI’s refusal yesterday in Caracas, where he arrived the night before. He had planned to travel to San Cristóbal, in Táchira state, to cover the Sunday municipal election announced to replace Mayor Daniel Ceballos. The Venezuelan Supreme Court had Ceballos removed in March and sentenced him to prison for refusing to crack down on protesting students in his municipality.
This was the first time that the CNN reporter was denied permission to work in Venezuela, but President Nicolás Maduro had already hinted two months ago that Del Rincón could be censored.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) denounced this curtailment of independent reporting and freedom of the press in Venezuela.
“Although the authoritarian government of Venezuela often harasses journalists and hinders the international media’s work, this is the first time that a credential request is denied to CNN en Español, the most popular news agency in Latin America, and the only independent TV channel that can still be watched in Venezuela,” said Garry Kasparov, HRF’s Chairman.