Amidst escalating anti-government protests, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro is making good on his threat to clamp down on foreign journalists. The country revoked the press credentials of at least seven CNN journalists Friday.
In a televised press conference Thursday Maduro called CNN's coverage of the protests "war propaganda" and accused the network of portraying a civil war in Venezuela. He told the network to rectify its coverage or leave the country. (Via BBC)
Spanish-language CNN anchor Patricia Janiot, who abruptly left the country Friday, said CNN reporters were informed their press passes had been denied hours later.
"We received a phone call from the vice minister of communication, saying that our permit to work as journalists in Venezuela were revoked, and he was asking also, 'When are you leaving?'"
Venezuela's protests against Maduro's government have grown increasingly violent over the past few days. The government says at least eight people have been killed so far in clashes with police. (Via ABC)
Maduro's decision to clamp down on CNN has sparked international criticism. Florida Senator Marco Rubio called it "a precursor to even more violent and deadly tactics against innocent Venezuelans. ... Nicolás Maduro and his government should realize that Venezuelans will not be silenced." (Via Politico)
And a Human Rights Watch director blasted Maduro for trying to control the media, saying Venezuela has "openly embraced the classic tactics of an authoritarian regime, jailing its opponents, muzzling the media, and intimidating civil society."
CNN said in a statement it's negotiating with Venezuelan authorities but will continue to report on the situation in Venezuela in the meantime.