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    #FakeNews: Real Reasons Behind Venezuela's CNN Ban

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    In an interview with Sputnik Mundo, Jordan Rodriguez, vice president of the state-owned broadcaster Venezolana de Television (VTV), explained why the Venezuelan cable broadcaster suspended the broadcast of the CNN en Espanol news channel in the country.

    Recently, Venezuela’s National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) said it has suspended the operation of the channel across Venezuela.

    The suspension of CNN en Espanol, which allegedly generates "a climate of intolerance" and threatens "the peace and democratic stability" of the people of Venezuela is effective immediately starting on Wednesday across the country," the commission said in a statement Wednesday.

    The Venezuelan government reportedly launched an investigation into the work of the CNN en Espanol channel in August 2015, accusing it of distributing false reports on violence in the country.

    The regulator made the decision due to "multiple attacks on political stability, the social situation and health of Venezuelan youth," the commission’s head Andres Eloy Mendez said.

    According to Rodriguez, CNN "spread lies and publishes fake news aimed to undermine the Bolivarian Revolution."

    For example, on February 9, the channel aired a report on disruptions in the issuance of passports. The report was "based on real facts" because a corruption scheme was uncovered in the passport issuing agency.

    However, before CNN, VTV aired a report saying that 120 officials were involved in the corruption scheme and would face trial.

    According to Rodriguez, "CNN aired information that was not a piece of news."

    Moreover, in the same report, CNN used as a source a former agent of the Venezuelan Foreign Policy Service, who had previously been involved in "suspicious deeds," including forging the signature of an ambassador.

    Another source was General Marco Ferreira who was involved in a coup attempt against then-President Hugo Chavez in April 2002.

    According to Rodriguez, in the report, Ferreira claimed that "in particular, passports are issued to Islamic terrorists" and connected his allegation to the origin of Vice President Tareck El Aissami (his father was a migrant from Syria). Ferreira also accused El Aissami of being involved in drug trafficking.

    "CNN is running an intense campaign of lies and groundless allegations, including accusing the vice president of being involved in the Cartel of the Suns (Cartel de los Soles), a group of drug dealers allegedly ruled by Venezuelan government officials," Rodriguez told Sputnik Mundo.

    According to the commission, such allegations are a violation of the "law on radio- and TV-broadcasting companies that are responsible for protecting minors."

    "All countries should protect their people. Those people [CNN en Espanol] condone violence and hatred. This is why its broadcast has been suspended in our country," he concluded.


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