“At any moment there could be arrests of journalists. The fear has become real.”

Because it’s been so gradual —a regional radio station taken down here, a newspaper pressured with lack of newsprint there— the full scale of chavismo’s onslaught against freedom of speech has been easy to miss. It’s taken a keen eye to keep cataloguing each new outrage, keep creating a record of every new move that makes us that little bit less free.

Here on Caracas Chronicles, Gustavo Hernández Acevedo has been tracking every single move of the communicational hegemon for five years now. His interview yesterday for German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle lets him stand back and review it all from 30,000 ft for an international audience:

The situation in Venezuela over the last few months has deteriorated to the lowest point and has made it almost impossible for journalists to work on the streets. In the last two months, the security forces – the national guard, police and intelligence services have become more aggressive against journalists and have literally made them targets.

We have seen multiple cases of journalists being attacked using tear-gas canisters and even cases of journalists being shot at. We also have cases or journalists whose equipment has been confiscated or damaged. We have cases of journalists who have been detained for hours at military installations without access to lawyers. They were eventually released. We have cases of journalists who have been threatened by security forces for doing their jobs.

This situation is not new. We have had situations like this since 2014 but not to the scale that we are seeing today.

We’re incredibly lucky to have GEHA on our team. Go read his whole interview.

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