The Nicolas Maduro regime has reportedly blocked the Venezuelan people's access to independent news sources amid media coverage of government violence against protesters.
Opposition leader and U.S.-recognized Venezuelan President Juan Guaido announced Tuesday that they had the military backing required to force Maduro from power after a 2018 election that was widely viewed by the international community as illegitimate.
The pro-Maduro and opposition forces clashed throughout the day, with images and video of the video being broadcast both inside and outside of Venezuela. In one widely covered incident, a government military vehicle could be seen plowing through unarmed protesters.
A CNN producer reported the network has been forcibly taken off the air within Venezuela on orders from the Maduro government.
Breaking news: @CNN has been taken off the air in Venezuela by the Maduro government as we cover violent clashes in Caracas. DirecTV, Net Uno, Intercable, and Telefónica all received orders from Venezuela’s government regulator Conatel to block CNN.
— Javi Morgado (@javimorgado) April 30, 2019
A BBC spokesperson confirmed to that BBC Global has also been blocked in the country. Privately owned Radio Caracas Radio also announced it had been shut down by the government but has continued to broadcast on the web platform Periscope.
One viewer in Venezuela appeared to capture the exact moment when CNN was forced off the air, tweeting in Spanish, "Is there any doubt that freedom of expression does not exist in Venezuela?"
Momento exacto cuando el gobierno dictador saca del aire a CNN (en inglés) de la parrilla de programación por cable (canal 706) y censura aún más con Conatel.
¿Alguno tiene duda de que la libertad de expresión no existe en Venezuela? pic.twitter.com/WR0XReOWNW
— Jhomar Lóp[e]z (@JhomarLopez) April 30, 2019
The censorship comes after Maduro detained six Univision journalists in February because he didn't like a question by anchor Jorge Ramos. The journalists were released after three hours and expelled from the country.