Nicaragua takes CNN en Español signal off the air

It has not explained why it removed CNN’s Spanish-language service, and did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. The cable operators carrying CNN en Español in the country also did not respond.

“Today the government of Nicaragua pulled our television signal, denying Nicaraguans news and information from our television network, which they have relied upon for 25 years,” the US-based service said in a statement.

Nicaragua’s government under fifth-term President Daniel Ortega has sharply cracked down on both the press and on critics over the past two years.

“CNN en Español was the only remaining outlet critical of President Daniel Ortega available to Nicaraguans,” Reuters reported on Thursday.

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In recent months, CNN en Español has reported on other examples of repression by the Ortega government, including the detention of a Catholic bishop investigated for “destabilizing and provocative” activities, after he objected to the closure of seven Catholic radio stations linked to the bishop in the country.

Nicaraguans can continue to find Spanish-language news on its website, the service said.

“CNN stands by our network’s reporting and our commitment to truth and transparency,” it said.

“At CNN en Español we believe in the vital role that freedom of the press plays in a healthy democracy.”

In March this year, Nicaragua’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States Arturo McFields labeled his country’s government a “dictatorship,” citing its repression of independent reporting and imprisonment of dissidents and political rivals, among other things.

“Since 2018, Nicaragua has become the only country in Central America that has no print newspapers. There’s no freedom to publish a simple tweet, [or posting] a simple comment on social media,” he said.

“There are no human rights organizations … They’ve all been closed, expelled, or shuttered. There are no independent political parties, there are no credible elections, no separation of powers,” he continued.

Nicaraguan state media later posted a letter to Twitter saying McFields does not represent Ortega’s government.

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