Nicaragua takes CNN en Español signal off the air

It did not explain why it removed CNN’s Spanish-language service and did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. The cable operators that carry CNN en Español in the country also did not comment.

“Today, the government of Nicaragua withdrew our television signal and denied Nicaraguans news and information from our television network, which they have relied on for 25 years,” the US-based agency said in a statement.

Nicaragua’s government under President Daniel Ortega’s fifth term has dealt sharply with both the press and critics over the past two years. Many Nicaraguan journalists have been forced into exile and there are still “virtually no independent media in the country,” according to the press freedom group Reporters without Borders.

“CNN en Español was the only remaining critique from President Daniel Ortega available to Nicaraguans,” Reuters reported Thursday.

“Taking the CNNE signal off the air is a sign of fear, clumsiness and arrogance. They want a society of sheep that would only listen to and obey the official narrative,” tweeted Arturo McFields, Nicaragua’s former ambassador to the Organization or American States.

In recent months, CNN en Español has reported on other examples of repression by Ortega’s government, including the detention of a Catholic bishop who was under investigation for “destabilizing and provocative” activities after objecting to the closure of seven Catholic radio stations. who had ties with the bishop in the country.

Nicaraguans can continue to find Spanish-language news on their website, the agency said.

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“CNN stands behind our network’s coverage and commitment to truth and transparency,” it said. “At CNN en Español, we believe in the vital role that press freedom plays in a healthy democracy.”

In March, McFields made rare public criticism of his own government, labeling Ortega’s regime a “dictatorship” and citing media repression, among other things.

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“Since 2018, Nicaragua is the only country in Central America that has no print newspapers. There is no freedom to publish a simple tweet, [or posting] a simple comment on social media,” he said at the time.

“There are no human rights organizations … They have all been shut down, expelled or closed down. There are no independent political parties, there are no credible elections, no separation of powers,” he continued.

Nicaraguan state media later posted a letter on Twitter stating that McFields was not representing Ortega’s government.

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