It is false that the State has closed 41 printed media

“In here there are no media closed by the State, what we have in here is a sabotage, a blockade against Venezuela. They do not allow the Venezuelan Government to buy newsprint paper, and it has to do thousands of ropes, maneuvers, pirouettes, to be able to buy paper, because the government of the United States, with its illegal sanctions, has prohibited the companies that sell paper, to sell newsprint paper to Venezuela, then go out to say that freedom of expression is being violated”. This was the response of journalist Isbemar Jiménez to the denounce made by the Venezuelan “Espacio Público” (Public space) NGO, about the closure of 41 print media, between 2013 and 2018, by the action of the National Executive.

The journalist cited the cases of Correo del Orinoco and Ciudad Caracas, both print media of the Venezuelan state, whose circulation has been seriously affected by the obstacles imposed for the purchase of newsprint paper. The Correo del Orinoco, with a national circulation of 15,000 copies, currently has only one thousand copies, while Ciudad Caracas migrated to the weekly mode, with a digital version, to overcome the shortage of paper.

Does the government seek to censor itself? Jiménez asked the director of this NGO, Carlos Correa. “We can not buy paper and that situation affects mainly in our media that have to be the artillery of thought against this kind of fake news and against this threat”, she answered.

A similar situation is being lived by more than 12 regional newspapers known as “The Cities”, bodies of dissemination of the states, which have drastically reduced their circulation, with a thousand copies in each of these entities, as a result of the blockade in the purchase of paper, said the also president of the Radio Nacional de Venezuela network, during the “Via Alterna” (Alternate Way) program, which she leads through the signal of RNV Informative channel.

“The blockade, sanctions and imperial harassment have prevented us from freely accessing the purchase of paper, which has been on the part of US imperialism a violation of access to the information the Venezuelans require”, she said.

Espacio Público, through its spokesperson, assured that between 2013 and 2018 65 radio stations have been closed, 115 mass media in total during this period, leaving aside, in the case of radio media, that in Venezuela there is legislation that regulates and administers the use of this space. “The State has the power to renew concessions.”