Venezuela Protests: President Nicolas Maduro Threatens to Expel CNN over ‘War Propaganda’ Reporting
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | February 21, 2014 7:30 PM EST
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has threatened to expel the US news network CNN from the country, if the reporting of recent protests there, which he believes to be 'war propaganda' doesn't stop.
Supporters of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez stand at a barricade during a protest against Nicolas Maduro's government in a middle-class neighbourhood in Caracas February 20, 2014. (Reuters)
Speaking on national television, the President accused his opponents of promoting violence in the country and has pledged to take the perpetrators of attacks against the Caracas metro to court, BBC reported.
Maduro also slammed foreign news organizations for widely covering the protests, although he named only CNN.
"Enough war propaganda, I won't accept war propaganda against Venezuela. If they don't rectify themselves, out of Venezuela, CNN, out," he said.
The threat comes after Venezuela removed Colombian TV news channel, NTN24, from among the channels offered by the country's cable operators after it reportedly showed images of a young protester shot to death.
As the New York Times notes, the only television station that regularly broadcast voices that are critical of the government, was sold last year. The new owners of the TV have been cautions on the news coverage.
Maduro's accusation also comes after he ordered the expulsion of three US diplomats earlier this week.
While the protesters have been concerned with a lack of media freedom, the government has been highly condemning international media coverage on the protests.
Reacting to Venezuela's accusations, US President Barack Obama said that the country should address "legitimate grievances" of the country, instead of "making up false accusations" against the United States officials.
On Tuesday, a court in Venezuela ordered that detained opposition politician Leopaldo Lopez should remain in custody until the next hearing. Lopez, who handed himself over to the authorities is charged with intentional arson, inciting violence, damage to public property and conspiracy.
President Maduro has called the politician a "murderer" and has accused the US Central Intelligence Agency of paying him to topple his government.
Meanwhile, with tensions running high, the leader of the opposition, Henrique Capriles, has called for a fresh, peaceful and anti-government march on Saturday.
So far, six deaths have been attributed to the ongoing violence in the country.
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