El Nacional’s President: Venezuela Is A Country Devoid of News, Independent Opinions

El Nacional’s President: Venezuela Is A Country Devoid of News, Independent Opinions

By Antoni Belchi / Voice of America
November 13, 2019

Miguel Henrique Otero, president and director of Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional, said that the current situation regarding freedom of speech in Venezuela not only affects national and local media and journalists, but also foreign correspondents.

During the 75th General Assembly of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in Miami on October 4-7, Otero spoke with Voice of America about the situation of the press and the lack of printing paper in Venezuela.

He stressed that Venezuela was “a window that is practically closed,” because the radio and television don’t “broadcast anything,” independent newspapers don’t have paper, and web platforms are blocked almost constantly by the Nicolás Maduro regime.

“Venezuela is a country devoid of news and independent opinions. Certainly, we can express ourselves on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and the feeds on WhatsApp. But that’s limited,” Otero said.

The entrepreneur and journalist said that incidents of repression against foreign correspondents have recently taken place. “They are robbed of their equipment, they are detained, they are deported from the country, and they are not given entry visas.”

El Nacional’s president said that the problem was not only that the country was “destroyed,” but that journalism has been “wiped out,” and he described communication professionals who remain in the country as being “courageous.”

He said that what has been done in Venezuela is being replicated in countries such as Nicaragua, and that the solution to put an end to the crisis in the South American nation is to “change the regime.”