PSUV vice president Diosdado Cabello and vice president Delcy Rodriguez lashed out today against reporting on the Venezuelan migrant crisis, which the United Nations estimates has displaced 2.3 million people since 2014. The crisis has made headlines all over the world, given its unprecedented scope and the effect that it is having on Venezuela’s neighbours.
Speaking during a press conference this afternoon, Cabello said reporting on the migrant crisis were part of an “evil campaign” to soil the name of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. Cabello said that this campaign was being directed by one individual: a Colombian journalist named Alberto Ravell.
Cabello said that the media was portraying the flow of Venezuelans into Colombia in a negative light, saying:
… they’re putting on a show. They put them in a refugee camp and they take their pictures only to attack the Bolivarian revolution.
Two days ago, the Colombian government announced that the number of Venezuelans living in the country had risen to 935,000.
At the same time, vice president Delcy Rodriguez incorrectly claimed that more people are migrating from Colombia today than from Venezuela, and she accused the country of lying about the severity of the migrant influx in order to receive money. She said:
Colombia is cheating the international community, asking for money to attend to the Venezuelan situation. What situation? They should attend to the violence situation that they have in their country, [and] we Venezuelans will take care of Venezuela.
Rodriguez also said that Venezuelans who have left the country are now “economic slaves” in places like Colombia. She did not provide any details for her comment.
El Pais Provides Overview of Digital Censorship in Venezuela
Spain’s El Pais published an article today in which it provided an overview of some of the recent attacks on digital media perpetrated by the Maduro regime.
The article points out that having gained near total control of traditional media outlets, the regime now appears focused on digital outlets, namely El Pitazo, Runrunes, Armando.Info, as well as La Patilla and El Nacional‘s web portal. Two of them–El Pitazo and Armando.Info–were taken offline on August 13 and July 29, respectively, by regime cyber attacks.
Ceasr Batiz, the head of El Pitazo, told the newspaper about the website’s first cyber attack, which took place on September 7 of last year. He said:
We had 75,000 daily visitors, and then we dropped to 11,000 the next day.
Batiz also explained that the website was attacked on April 9 and July 31 of this year. He also said that the website has been able to track the source of the attacks to computers “in other countries”, including Russia and Iran.
Since Maduro came to power in 2013, at least 40 newspapers have been forced to stop printing due to pressure from the regime. One common tactic used by the regime to shutter publications is to withhold foreign currency from the organizations, which prevents them from importing print paper.
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