The Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa (SIP) [Inter American Press Association] received a report today outlining some of the difficulties afflicting the press in Venezuela today. The report was presented to the organization at its 74th General Assembly today, and its authors included Miguel Otero, the president of El Nacional.
According to the report, Venezuelan media outlets exist in a state of peril, as the Maduro regime intensifies its attacks on free and independent press.
2018 has been one of the harshest for newspapers and journalists in Venezuela, with the closing of publications in various regions.
According to the report, at least 13 newspapers have been forced to stop printing this year, while another 16 have been forced to reduce their publication days. The most common reason for the ceasing or reduction of newspaper of production is lack of access to printing paper, which the Maduro regime controls.
The report also points out that the regime controls a total of 700 media outlets spread across radio, internet and print, and that the internet has become a vital tool to combat the regime’s “communication hegemony”.
For this reason, the report concludes, the Maduro regime is increasingly targeting internet media outlets, and that the blocking of independent news outlets constitutes “a new form of censorship” in Venezuela. According to the report:
Access to news websites like La Patilla, El Nacional, Tal Cual, El Pitazo, Run Runes, and others, is increasingly difficult because the internet blocking and filtering systems controlled by the government are constantly increasing.
The full text of the report can be found here, in Spanish.
Energy Minister Blames Long List of Animals For Constant Power Failures
Minister of Electrical Energy Luis Motta Dominguez took to his Twitter account yesterday to offer an explanation for the daily power outages that affect virtually every region of Venezuela.
According to Dominguez, there are many culprits for the power outages. He wrote:
… Comrades! In some cases, electrical grid failures are caused by animals like: rats, mice, snakes, cats, squirrels, possums, vultures, etc., who search…
The tweet links to an Instagram post from Dominguez which goes on to explain that these animals and others like them can damage power equipment when trying to build a nest.
Overwhelmed by ridicule and criticism from social media users, Motta Dominguez attempted to mitigate the absurdity of his tweet by linking to a news report from an NBC affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia, dating back to December 2017. In the video, reporters announce that a rumour that rats were the cause of a power failure at a local airport is false, and that animals were not in fact responsible for the power failure.
It is likely that Motta Dominguez is not a fluent English speaker, and that he took to Google to search for terms in English like “rat” and “power outage” without fully understanding what he had found.
Angelina Jolie Meets Venezuelan Migrants in Peru
Angelina Jolie arrived in Peru today for a three-day mission to assess first-hand the living conditions of Venezuelan migrants in the country.
A Twitter user by the name of Rosmery Llaja took pictures of Jolie with what appear to be a group of Venezuelan migrants:
Aside from being an actress, Jolie has been a special envoy with the United Nation’s Refugee Agency since 2012.
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