Freedom House just released its Freedom of the Press 2014 report. The tittle: “Press Freedom at the Lowest Level in a Decade”. And Venezuela is leading the race to the bottom.
Venezuela’s country report draft states:
“Under the new government of Nicolás Maduro, who was elected to succeed Chávez in April, patterns of excessive government involvement in the affairs of the private press grew worse. Maduro’s administration hampered the opposition media by arbitrarily fining outlets, enforcing licensing requirements without respecting due process rights, and excluding certain outlets from access to public information. High-level government officials constantly demonized opposition-aligned outlets and exerted systematic pressure on the tone and content of reporting”.
We debunked the myth freedom of speech in Venezuela over a month ago. At that time we said that “the current reality seems to indicate that mass media is allowed to freely transmit information, as long as that information is favorable to the government. In other words, Venezuelans are able to express themselves and share their opinions as long as they are willing to pay the price that an opinion against the government can entail. Nicolás Maduro’s statements about “freedom” of speech are clearly misleading”.
Freedom House was more categorical about it. With a score of 78 out of 100 -the lower the score, the better the press freedom status- Venezuela’s press is “Not Free”.