The Lima Group is set to discuss the ongoing situation in Venezuela at a meeting tomorrow in Brasilia, Brazil.

The meeting comes as the makeup of the group is set to be shaken by a seismic shift, given the election loss of Mauricio Macri in Argentina. While Macri was an outspoken critic of the Maduro regime and an active member of the Lima Group, his successor, Alberto Fernandez, promised during his presidential campaign that he would pull the country out of the Group if he became president.

Fernandez is set to take the oath of office on December 10.

NGO: Gov’t Violated Freedom of Speech 54 Times in October

Espacio Publico, a Venezuelan NGO that tracks free speech issues, announced today that the Maduro regime violated the freedom of speech 54 times in October across 26 individuals cases.

In its report, Espacio Publico highlighted some of these cases, including the shutdown of a radio station that occurred on October 1. According to the NGO, regime officials entered the offices of Caracas’ 95.5 FM Medano Radio and “confiscated the equipment”, allegedly because the station did not have the correct license to operate. However, the station management said that they have made repeated filings for the license for years, but that they have never received a response from the authorities.

In another incident, a journalist named Walter Martinez who works for the state-owned Venezolana de Television (VTV) network said was forced to go off the air on October 3 under orders from Maduro’s Press Office.

Maduro has made attacks on the free press a staple of his reign. The effects of the regime’s hostility have been particularly debilitating for the print media industry, as 66 newspapers have been forced to shut down since Maduro came to power in 2013.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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