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Venezuela's national assembly reopens to the press after five-year ban

The National Assembly in Caracas
The National Assembly in Caracas

AP Photo/Fernando Llano

The following in an excerpt of a CPJ blog post by John Otis, CPJ Andes Correspondent:

When security guards opened the doors to Venezuela's colonial-era National Assembly building last Wednesday, I was among the dozens of reporters who swarmed inside. Even though the day's legislative session would not be called to order for another three hours, every seat in the press galley, located on the second-floor balcony overlooking the chamber, was quickly occupied.

The enthusiasm was understandable because reporters have only recently been allowed back in the building. In 2010, deputies of the ruling Socialist Party approved a measure banning journalists from the press balcony. Instead, they were relegated to a cramped room where they could monitor congress only by watching the sessions on a state TV channel that often censored statements by opposition legislators, numerous reporters told me.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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