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Venezuela Pulls Plug on CNN en Español After Report on Fraudulent Passports

Venezuela pulled the plug on CNN en Español after the network ran a report on how government officials had allegedly been involved in selling fake passports.

Per the Associated Press:

The National Telecommunications Commission announced it initiated the “administrative sanction” because of news stories that it considered “direct aggressions” against Venezuela.

The agency did not cite the passport story, but earlier in the day other government officials held a news conference to dispute the CNN story.

CNN aired a report on Feb. 6 based on a whistleblower’s allegations that Venezuelan officials had been selling passports from the country’s embassy in Iraq to people of Middle Eastern origin, including a few members of terrorist groups.

The report (which you can watch below) was the result of a year-long investigation by CNN and CNN en Español that turned up serious allegations about passports being “given to people with ties to terrorism.”

And according to CNN, the Venezuelan vice president is linked to it:

One confidential intelligence document obtained by CNN links Venezuela’s new Vice President Tareck El Aissami to 173 Venezuelan passports and ID’s that were issued to individuals from the Middle East, including people connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah.

After Venezuela pulled the plug on the network, CNN en Español issued the following statement:

As mentioned above, the network made an online live stream of the channel available on YouTube.

One journalist posted this video that appears to show the channel as it was taken off the air:

The network has also gotten the hashtag #CNNECensurado going on Twitter.

[image via screengrab]

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