El Nacional, Venezuela’s largest and most influential independent newspaper, will stop circulating tomorrow after 75 years in print.The news came via the newspaper’s editor, Miguel Otero, who made the revelation to Spain’s ABC.
Otero told the newspaper that the reason for the shutdown has to do with a combination of factors, chief among them the difficulty in finding newsprint:
As Otero explained, newsprint in Venezuela can only be purchased through a company that is wholly owned by the Maduro regime. Newspapers that were critical of the regime–as El Nacional is–have been slowly finding themselves without newsprint as the company refuses to supply them, or shuffles its feet on purpose in order to “asphyxiate” them into shutting down.
Otero said that El Nacional was able to continue printing despite the difficult circumstances because it received support from other newspapers in the region. He said:
We lasted longer than others because we had support from other newspapers in Latin America to allow us to continue printing, but in the end we could not survive.
On the Maduro and Chavez regimes’ incessant attacks against independent media, Otero told ABC:
We’ve been harassed for 15 years. They’ve manged to silence radio and television, and they’ve made independent press media disappear, turning them into web platforms.
Otero also stressed that the newspaper’s disappearance in print form will only be temporary, and that it will begin printing again “the moment that this regime falls”.
Note: I am unable to spend much time on the daily update today due to travel.
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