Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has decried Germany’s broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) as a “Nazi” media outlet.

Maduro made the comments on Monday during his weekly program on Venezuelan state TV after DW released a report on corruption in the South American country.

DW was removed from cable programing by two main local cable operators, according to Venezuela’s National Union of Press Workers. The group added it was still looking into whether DW had been removed from the program of other services.

The corruption video focuses on graft in several Latin American countries, including Venezuela, and looks into possible connections between politicians and organized crime. It describes Venezuela as the second-most corrupt country in the world. The primary sources for the DW report were international watchdog Transparency International and Insight Crime think tank. A DW post highlighting a clip taken from the report points out that it is unknown to what degree Maduro is connected to or is aware of this corruption. 

DW had been temporarily suspended by Venezuela in 2019, which SNTP believes happened in “retaliation” to coverage of mass protests that occurred that year.

What did Maduro say about DW?

Maduro accused DW of participating in a media “campaign” against Venezuela in collusion with other Western media outlets.

He said the campaign had been conducted by the US broadcaster CNN and its Spanish service, as well as the Associated Press (AP) news agency, among others. He went on to denounce “all those media outlets, including a Nazi outlet from Germany, DW.”

CNN’s Spanish service was taken off the air by Venezuelan cable operators in 2017 after Maduro accused the channel of being part of a “conspiracy” against the government. Colombian channels Caracol and NTN24 were taken off the air at the same time.

Maduro said that DW and others claimed that “all the crimes in the world being committed today are being committed by Venezuelans.”

“Watch out for this campaign” he said, adding that it aimed to “besmirch Venezuela, and in the end, try to besmirch me.”

Earlier, Communication Minister Freddy Nanez accused DW of lying, defaming Venezuela and spreading hatred against the country in a post on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

DW urges Venezuela to put Spanish service back on air

DW called for the Venezuelan government to lift restrictions on the channel’s broadcasting.

“We urgently call on the Venezuelan government to once again ensure the distribution of the Spanish language DW television channel as quickly as possible,” DW Director General Peter Limbourg said in a press release.

“This restriction of DW’s broadcast is a serious encroachment on the freedom of the people in Venezuela to find independent information themselves,” the head of DW said.

“Millions of people have fled Venezuela during Maduro’s rule. There is basically no press freedom,” he said. “It is fitting that he would react to fact-based criticism with such absurd comparisons.”

sdi/dj (AFP, EPD, KNA)


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