BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s state-funded public broadcaster Deutsche Welle accused Venezuela’s broadcast authority on Sunday of having blocked its Spanish-language channel from cable networks in the country.
Germany, the United States and most other Western countries consider the 2018 election of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro illegitimate and have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the company’s interim president. Maduro dismisses Guaido as a U.S. puppet.
DW’s general manager Peter Limbourg urged broadcast authority Donatel to “urgently resume distributing the signal of DW.”
DW had launched a 15-minute daily special program in response to the growing crisis in Venezuela, reporting on its Spanish language channel about developments there and interviewing key officials, including Guaido.
“We will of course do everything we can to keep our viewers and users in Veneuzela informed,” Limbourg said in a statement, noting that DW’s program “Noticias Extra Venezuela” would remain available on its website.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Information, which controls Conatel, had no immediate comment. The German foreign ministry had no immediate comment.
DW cited a Tweet from Venezuela’s journalists’ union explaining the order from Conatel, and lauding the work of the German broadcaster in reporting on all facets of the crisis in Venezuela. It carried the hashtag “censorship.”
DW reached 17 million viewers in Latin America each week with its 24-hour programming, the broadcaster said, noting that a video posted on Twitter in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for new elections was retrieved 112,000 times.
Reporting 2018 Andrea Shalal; additional reporting 2018 Vivian Sequera in Caracas; Editing 2018 Raissa Kasolowsky