IAPA condemns new attack on Venezuela's El Nacional


IAPA condemns new attack on Venezuela's El Nacional

MIAMI, Florida (August 31, 2016)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned a new Molotov cocktail and excrement attack on the front of the building of Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional and declared that it will remain alert in the face of continual aggressions against independent media.

At around 2:00 a.m. yesterday (August 30) four men hurled inflamed excrement and Molotov cocktails at the newspaper's offices in the second attack this year.

IAPA President Pierre Manigault declared, "the organization's solidarity with the newspaper's journalists, workers and executives, who with daily uncertainty carry out their work and put their safety at risk in the face of intolerance that pays no heed to freedom of expression and diversity of ideas."

The assailants, who shouted that the newspaper had betrayed the country and sought to overthrow the government, left a pamphlet with the title "Is the march of the 1S (1st of September) the beginning of the end?" in which they mounted an attack on the paper's publisher, Miguel Henrique Otero. Called for September 1 is an anti-government demonstration in Caracas that includes support for a recall referendum.

The printed message was signed by a group identifying itself as "People in Rebellion," who on June 17 had taken similar action against the newspaper.

Manigault, president of the Charleston, South Carolina, newspaper The Post and Courier, stressed that the IAPA will remain alert and ready to denounce attacks upon media and journalists.

For his part El Nacional publisher Otero said that his paper will continue responding to the government of President Nicolás Maduro "with more information." On referring to the attack he said that the official media "do not respond with ideas and allegations, they simply resort only to insult, make threats and physically attack us."

According to what the paper itself reported also attacked on June 14 this year in the same way were the premises of the newspaper Correo del Caroní in Bolívar state, and on August 24 unidentified assailants shot at the building of Diario de Los Andes in Trujillo.

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.