Photo: retrieved

A new threshold of Venezuelan censorship has just been reached: Journalist Roberto Deniz, of investigative website Armando.Info, got a letter from broadcasting authority Conatel, informing him that he and his colleagues Joseph Poliszuk, Ewald Scharfenberg and Alfredo Meza are banned from “…publishing and spreading through digital outlets, specially the site Armando.Info, mentions that go against the honor and reputation of citizen Alex Nain Saab…

Deniz, Poliszuk and Scharfenberg reacted to this legal gag on their Twitter accounts:

“In Venezuela, the justice (system) and now Conatel claim that, at the expense of Mr. Alex Saab’s “reputation” and “honor,” journalists can’t investigate the web behind the CLAP business.”

“First they offered ‘work’, then they threatened on social networks, later they sued, launched cyber-attacks, blocked the (Armando.Info) web page for a while and now, they try to formalize censorship through no longer a court, but an entity of the Executive Branch.”

(Note: Conatel works under the Communication and Information Ministry’s banner.)

“Warning: Conatel is not only preventing the Armando.Info journalists from (talking about) the gang of CLAP’s commodity imports. Through an order it also demands cable and ISP operators to stop us from speaking and sharing our reports. That Conatel mobilizes for just one person speaks of that person’s closeness with the established (and factual) power.”

Here’s a quick recap for those unaware: After the publication of a couple of reports about his involvement on the government’s CLAP program, Mr. Saab filed a lawsuit in a Caracas court against the four aforementioned journalists, who were also harassed in social media. Eventually, the four of them had to leave Venezuela before the same court issued (at Saab’s request) a prohibition to leave the country last month.

Armando.Info’s website was a victim of cyber-attacks before getting blocked in local ISPs.

Other digital outlets have been targets too, part of a larger clampdown against the remnants of independent media in Venezuela, along with the arrests of journalists and the closing of newspapers. Even hegemony-allied private outlets aren’t fully safe.

Our deepest solidarity to Armando.Info and others facing the pressure.

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  1. Socialism never rests. There is always work to be done. People to be impoverished, starved, intimidated, taught to keep their mouths shut, taught that the glorious revolution is all that matters.
    I am beginning to wonder if Saab might have something to hide (sarcasm fully intended).

  2. Follow the money till it runs out, that is. Then you follow the shell casings of spent bullets because knowing fuck-all what to do to change things, the only option for a revolutionary is to open fire. Sounds like that is beginning to step up.

    Where lies the tipping point. I could have sworn we were there several times before, but things are feeling different. Granted, I’m not physically there, but in the daily WhatsAp posts I get from family in CCS, the winds seem to be shifting. Maybe Marc or others with their feet on the ground can tell us more.

    • MRubio—sent John an email yesterday, hopefully we can get you making bread before long.

      Surprised this guy has not been “relieved of his duties” by the Aguilas Negras.

  3. Waltz, thank you so much. Being able to make bread would be a wonderful thing. Thanks to John’s unselfish efforts, I now have a garden producing more green beans, okra, and lettuce than we can hardly eat. His latest care package had all sorts of new seeds as well as some treats for our table like a dozen different kinds of seasonings and even a bottle of his home-made strawberry jam. Life is considerably better.

    • Will have to include some of the seeds from the purple beans I grow. Hope all is well with Crystal and everyone else.

      Do you do heat? Dehydrated habanero peppers? We make a “giardiniera” out of our homegrown peppers.

      • Hi MRubio and Waltz
        I hope you liked the jam. I think we grow some of the best strawberries anywhere.
        I’m glad the supplies help. More will be coming soon.

        Waltz, I meant to call you this afternoon and by the time I got back home it was after 11 PM.
        I’ll call you around noon your time tomorrow.

  4. MRubio, you may already know this but more than 1300 members of the Cajun Navy from Louisiana and more than 900 boats (the numbers are going up by the minute) are headed to the Carolinas to assist with search and rescue operations after Florence comes ashore. We are all proud of those men and women. They were all instrumental in helping with S&R in South Texas after Harvey hit. I hope they took plenty of crayfish and boudin with them! Florence looks to possibly be catastrophic with 40 + inches of rain possible.

  5. For this measure to be taken there must be something very real and very damaging about the investigation on the sleaze surrounding the purchase and delivery of the CLAP packages , the investigation should go on whether by the same people or others and published be it in the same digital page or somewhere where it can be publicized arround the world ………..


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