(Update, February 22, 2:30pm): After initially announcing CNN no longer had permission to report in Venezuela, the government told the network its reporters could remain.
(Original story): President Nicolas Maduro revoked press accreditation for CNN reporters in Venezuela on Friday, a day after denouncing the network’s reporting as “war propaganda” and threatening to expel the network from the country if it did not “rectify its coverage.”
The Venezuelan government rescinded or denied press credentials for seven CNN International and CNN en Español journalists, including Caracas-based correspondent Osmary Hernandez. Two journalists, Angela Janiot and Rafael Romo, had their work permits canceled, and Venezuelan officials reportedly asked them when they intended to leave the country.
“We hope the government reconsiders its decision,” CNN en Español said in an on-air statement. “Meanwhile, we will continue reporting on Venezuela in the fair, accurate, and balanced manner that characterizes us a journalistic enterprise.” CNN declined to comment beyond that.
Eight people have been killed in Venezuela and 137 injured since protests began last month by demonstrators concerned about high crime and inflation rates and the shortage of basic goods. Local television stations have provided sparse live coverage of the protests, and many opposition supporters have turned to CNN en Español for up-to-date reporting instead.
The New York Times reports that Globovisión, the only Venezuelan television station that regularly criticized the country’s government, was sold last year to investors who are believed to have ties to Maduro’s administration, and who have taken the edge off its new coverage.