6 MAR 2024

Venezuela cancels Deutsche Welle's pay-TV distribution

President Nicolás Maduro referred to DW as a "Nazi broadcaster" in reaction to one of its contents. The General Director, Peter Limbourg, stated that the distribution must be restored.

6 MAR 2024

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"Another attack on freedom of expression in Latin America. Following the expulsion of DW TV's Spanish-language channel from cable broadcasters in Venezuela, Deutsche Welle's Director General, Peter Limbourg, called for the restoration of the channel and condemned this attack. President Nicolás Maduro labeled DW as a 'Nazi broadcaster' in response to one of its contents.

The General Director, Peter Limbourg contextualized the action as a blow to the access to information for the Venezuelan people:"We strongly urge the Venezuelan government to promptly restore the distribution of DW TV's Spanish channel. The cancellation of DW's distribution is a severe attack on the freedom of people in Venezuela to access independent information," noted.

The forced cancellation of DW's Spanish channel by Venezuelan authorities followed a video from the new DW format "Cómo te afecta" ('How It Affects You'), addressing corruption in various Latin American countries, including Venezuela, as well as the connections between politicians and organized crime. Amnesty International and Insight Crime are the primary sources for the broadcast. In a social media post about a segment of the video, it is explicitly stated that it is not known to what extent Maduro himself is informed or involved.

Maduro referred to DW as a "Nazi broadcaster" while Venezuela's Communication Minister claimed that "DW spreads 'hate against Venezuela' and defames the country". Limbourg firmly rejected such allegations: "Millions of people have fled Venezuela during the Maduro regime. Press freedom is virtually nonexistent. His absurd comparisons in response to well-founded criticism are consistent with his profile. Defamation, censorship, internet blocks, and the spread of false information about DW and its journalistic work are challenges we face in an increasing number of countries. We will continue to do everything in our power to reach people living under authoritarian regimes," highlighted.

To provide some context, within DW's information offering, Spanish stands as the second most consumed language, following English. DW's Spanish content manages to engage 46 million user contacts on a weekly basis. The entirety of DW's information remains accessible on dw.com and various social media platforms. Furthermore, the Livestream can be accessed through DW Español's YouTube channel.