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Authorities attempt to seize warehouse owned by newspaper critical of the government

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - 19 May 2011 - On 18 May 2011, approximately 25 public officials of the Municipality of Libertador, Fundacaracas and the police, tried to impound a warehouse which houses a printing press owned by the newspaper "El Nuevo País". The newspaper is critical of the Chávez regime.

The police officers forced their way into the building, which is located in the capital city, Caracas. A municipal official, Nelly Fernández, justified the raid by explaining that the warehouse will be used to house six homeless families. The officials, who did not have a formal order, left an hour later, but the possibility still exists that the building may be expropriated at a later time.

Isnardo Bravo, the newspaper's editor, told IPYS that the action must be linked to the redistribution of an article published by the German newspaper "Die Welt" about an agreement between the Venezuelan and Iranian governments to install missile launching platforms in the state of Falcón.

The paper's executive vice-president, Graciela Requena, said she fears that a group of unidentified individuals who blocked the street where the warehouse is located will persist in an attempt to seize the property if the newspaper's employees leave.

"El Nuevo País" is owned by journalist Rafael Poleo, who is in exile in Miami after having been accused, based on statements he made to Globovisión in 2008, of supporting an attempt to murder President Chávez.

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