Venezuelan Government Shuts Down Radio Cristal After 60 Years on Air

Venezuela's Conatel shuts down Radio Cristal, a 60-year-old station, as part of a broader crackdown on press freedom, with over 290 radio stations closed since 2003, raising concerns about the government's control over media.

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Hadeel Hashem
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Venezuelan Government Shuts Down Radio Cristal After 60 Years on Air

Venezuelan Government Shuts Down Radio Cristal After 60 Years on Air

The National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) in Venezuela has ordered the closure of Radio Cristal , a radio station that has been operating in Lara state for 60 years. The authorities refused to renew the station's operating license, despite the station submitting a request for renewal. The closure has resulted in the loss of jobs for eight workers and 24 radio producers.

This decision is part of a broader trend in Venezuela, where the government has shut down at least 290 radio stations between 2003 and 2023, according to data from the NGO Espacio Público . The closure of Radio Cristal is seen as another example of the government's crackdown on vocal radio stations in the country.

Why this matters: The shutdown of Radio Cristal highlights the ongoing press freedom issues in Venezuela. It raises concerns about the government's control over media outlets and the silencing of critical voices in the country.

The recent crackdown on press freedom in Venezuela has also included the shutdown of several other radio stations and the arrest of journalists. Specifically, Conatel closed Radio Cristal 610 AM in Barquisimeto, Lara state, which belonged to former governor Orlando Fernández Medina. They also shut down Reconciliación 93.5 FM in Quíbor, Lara, owned by Víctor González Toto.

Journalist Carlos Julio Rojas, known for his activism and defense of human rights, was arrested, and there was an attempted detention of journalist Yuyser González in Barinas state. Journalist Ramón de Jesús Centeno Navas was imprisoned for an interview he conducted with a pro-government 'narco-deputy'.

The closure of Radio Cristal and other media outlets in Venezuela has drawn parallels to the repression experienced during the dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez. The NGO Espacio Público has documented the shutdown of at least 290 radio stations between 2003 and 2023, highlighting the dire state of journalism in the country. The loss of jobs for workers and producers at Radio Cristal further highlights the impact of these government actions on media professionals in Venezuela.

Key Takeaways

  • Conatel ordered closure of Radio Cristal, a 60-year-old station in Lara, Venezuela.
  • Venezuela has shut down at least 290 radio stations between 2003-2023, per Espacio Público.
  • Closure of Radio Cristal is part of government's crackdown on critical media voices.
  • Journalist arrests and other media shutdowns indicate press freedom issues in Venezuela.
  • Closure of Radio Cristal resulted in job losses for 8 workers and 24 producers.