NEWS ANALYSIS/OMNIS TERRA - Venezuela: the Church defends freedom of information

Saturday, 22 September 2018 mass media   local churches   freedom of conscience   religious freedom   civil society  

While a very harsh report by Amnesty International on violence, the right to life and public security in Venezuela is being published and as the international community intensifies pressure on President Nicolás Maduro's government, the Church joins the denunciation regarding the abuses perpetrated by the regime against its own citizenship. This time it is Msgr. Pablo Galimberti, Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Salto (Uruguay) who launches the alarm highlighted by the Venezuelan Bishops during their recent ad Limina Apostolorum visit at the Vatican dicasteries, which ended with a visit with Pope Francis. "To the economic, political and social oppression - writes Msgr. Galimberti in his weekly space in the newspaper "Cambio" - the closure of media is added". He adds:"It is a scandal and a shame that Venezuela has 2,500 blocked web pages today, as well as 372 news sites to which it is impossible to access, among which Colombian channel RCN, the page of the daily El Nacional and the portals La Patilla and El Pitazo". "In the five years of Nicolás Maduro in power - underlined the prelate, 40 independent periodicals have been closed down".
The "growing suppression of information", explains Galimberti, crystallized through the Socialist Plan of economic and social development of the nation 2013-2019 known as "Plan de la Patria", "considered morally unacceptable by the Venezuelan Bishops". "The excuse, which only the government uses, is that such media are dominated by neocolonial powers", explains the Uruguayan Bishop. "The Católico Diario of the state of Táchira, has experienced a worrying stop and reopening after 94 years of uninterrupted circulation". This authority spreads, like others, "non-submissive news", produced by those who "do not renounce the right to free expression" (...)