IAPA rejects closure of two media houses in Venezuela

IAPA condemned the raid and closure of Telecaribe and Venepress.

Miami (December 24th, 2019) .- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the raid and closure of the Telecaribe and Venepress in Venezuela cataloged as part of the anti-democratic strategy of the government of Nicolás Maduro to silence the independent press.

On December 18 in Caracas, agents of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) raided for 10 hours and closed both media for alleged money laundering, according to information from the Venezuelan press.

The president of the IAPA, Christopher Barnes, and the president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information Roberto Rock, agreed to "condemn" the government's action and added that it demonstrates the intention of the Maduro regime to curb the work of independent media.

In November IAPA condemned the search of the Entorno Inteligente portal, the arrest of its manager Belén Tovar, and the confiscation of work equipment.

Barnes, managing director of the Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner, referred to the IAPA end of the year message which established that since the inauguration of his government in 2013, the presidency of Maduro has closed around 80 media houses in the country and the practice of systematic blocking of media websites and digital portals continues.

Rock, publisher of the Mexican news portal La Silla Rota, also stressed that unfortunately with this decision about 30 workers from both media are unemployed in the midst of the severe economic crisis affecting Venezuela.

The IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the Western Hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.