Venezuela shuts down CNN en Español over 'direct aggressions'

Venezuela's National Commission of Telecommunications, or CONATEL, suspended the CNN en Español Spanish-language channel for alleged "direct aggressions that threaten the peace and democratic stability" of Venezuela.

CNN Español's broadcast became unavailable soon after CONATEL's public statement announcing the sanctions.

"This procedure is due to the content that has been disseminated by the international news chain in a systematic and repeated way, presenting in a clear way contents that constitute direct aggressions against Venezuela," CONATEL said in a statement.

The telecommunications regulator's actions follow a CNN report that passports and visas were being sold illegally in Venezuela's embassy in Iraq.

Citing Venezuela's Law of Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Electronic Media, CONATEL said since CNN en Español "without evidence and in an inadequate manner distorted the truth ... this National Telecommunications Commission ordered as a preventive measure the suspension and immediate exit of the news channel CNN en Español in the national territory."

CONATEL Director General Andrés Eloy Méndez on Thursday said he was working with Internet service operators to shut down CNN's online feeds.