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German broadcaster says taken off-air in Venezuela

April 14, 2019

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Sunday it has been taken off-air by Venezuelan authorities, but vowed to keep beaming its programmes online to the crisis-hit South American country’s viewers.

“The Venezuelan broadcasting authority Conatel has removed from the cable network the broadcasting signal of Deutsche Welle’s Spanish language television channel,” said the German station in a statement.

The Director General of Deutsche Welle Peter Limbourg urged Venezuelan authorities to reinstate the signal.

Limbourg said the broadcaster will keep transmitting its programmes, particularly those focusing on the situation in Venezuela, on social media and Deutsche Welle’s YouTube channel.

“We will of course continue to do everything to inform our viewers and users in Venezuela,” said Limbourg.

Deutsche Welle said it reaches 17 million viewers every week with its 24-hour TV channel in Latin America.

Viewers appeared to show interest not only in reports about Venezuela, but also in the reaction from Germany and Europe, said the broadcaster.

It noted that a video on Twitter about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call for new elections in Venezuela was viewed 112,000 times.

Germany counts among more than 50 countries which have voiced backing for Juan Guaido as interim president of the economically-devastated country, to the anger of President Nicolas Maduro.

Caracas last month expelled Germany’s ambassador over Berlin’s stance.

hmn/boc

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.