Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Venezuela aims to block CNN Spanish-language service on internet

Melinda Barton | 17 February, 2017, 01:00

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday hit on CNN, saying it was an "instrument of war in the hands of real mafias". Venezuela's scuffle with CNN comes a few days after the Trump Administration imposed sanctions on El Aissami, who it says played a "significant role in worldwide narcotics trafficking".

The commission accused CNN en EspaƱol of slander and distortion and said the network was acting in violation of the free speech rights protected by the Venezuelan constitution. Out of the Venezuelan embassy in Baghdad, officials issued over 150 passports in exchange for thousands of dollars, the CNN report said.

Cable operators dropped CNN en Espanol - Latin America's main news channel - on Wednesday days after the news network broadcast an investigation into alleged fraud in granting Venezuelan passports and visas.

"I believe there was an strategy on the part of senior career diplomats to favor stability over U.S. Security, stability of the Venezuelan government over security of the United States", said Noriega, who also served as American ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS).

Mark Feierstein, Obama's top security adviser on Latin America, told The Guardian newspaper that several USA agencies had tried months ago to apply sanctions against El Aissami on suspicion that he was one of the main forces behind drug trafficking in Venezuela.

The US Treasury department froze the US assets of El Aissami and the businessman, Samark Jose Lopez Bello, and banned US nationals from doing business with them.

Trump is calling for the immediate release of Leopoldo Lopez who directly opposes the socialist leader Maduro.

"Venezuela rejects the interference and aggression of U.S. President Donald Trump", she said.

She also tweeted that President Trump had "sided with the boss behind violent acts" while President Maduro had proposed "initiating a new era of respectful relations" between the two.

Maduro at the weekend told CNN to "get out" of Venezuela after accusing it of manipulating comments by a girl who told him on live TV some school students were fainting from hunger.