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Venezuelan president calls for boycott against national media

On December 10, 2013, Nicolás Maduro, the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, requested a boycott against newspapers El Nacional, El Universal, Últimas Noticias, regional newspaper El Tiempo, which he qualified as bourgeoisie press during official speeches. He also criticized an article published by a foreign correspondent working at EFE agency. All the attacks by the head of state were based on criticizing the interpretation given by the press on the results of the past municipal elections of December 8, 2013.

The first mention by the President was during the proclamation act of the elected mayors at the municipal elections, when he requested that a boycott be started against El Nacional.

In his speech, Maduro said the newspaper is "journalism converted into Nazi propaganda full of lies". He added, “Who buys El Nacional? Do not waste your time buying El Nacional. El Nacional lies, it is lies and more lies”.

Same as he has done on previous occasions with this outlet and other printed media, Maduro showed the newspaper's December 10 edition and said “The people should declare a boycott against El Nacional and not purchase it ever again (…). As a citizen punishment, for lying".

Hours later, from Anzoátegui state, Maduro made new comments, this time against El Universal, Últimas Noticias, regional newspaper El Tiempo and El Nacional, and took advantage to reject what was published by José Luis Panigua, the journalist of international press agency EFE, who wrote a note on the results of the municipal elections, mentioning that the voter participation was lower compared to last April's presidential elections.

Panigua was dismissed as a “manipulator” when he speculated on the election results comparing the municipal and presidential elections. Maduro said that the newspapers he criticized “are enclaves of right-wing groups that refuse to tell the truth” and want to “mask the defeat of the right wing”.

Maduro also said “if you read the headlines of the bourgeoisie ultra-right-wing press, the headlines sound crazy. Those who in one hundred years' time wish to study the history of Venezuela and use that source as a bibliographical source, they simply will not understand how the Bolivarian revolution was born, how the revolution expanded and how the revolution governed Venezuela throughout the XXIst century (…). If they seek to interpret history through the national or regional bourgeoisie press, because I imagine that you here will have a newspaper, we are not going to name names because, all I can say to you is: do not buy any more bourgeoisie, crazy lying press, do not buy it anymore, implement a boycott against the lies, against the manipulation, they are bandits. How dare they disown the people's will? They are bandits".

Systematic Attacks

Since September the attacks against El Nacional newspaper have been recurrent. September 25th was the first time that Maduro referred to the newspaper as “El Nazional”.

Other media such as Diario 2001 have also been subjected to heavy pressures to their editorial lines. At Últimas Noticias, a journalist was fired when he refused to change the newspaper's editorial line.

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