Freedom of the press in Venezuela Fact Sheet

VENEZUELA

This fact sheet provides a brief overview of the current state of press freedom in Venezuela.

This document includes examples of press freedom violations and other threats that journalists face in their pursuit of the truth.

While the Constitution of Venezuela guarantees freedom of expression, the government has enacted laws and regulations that restrict this right. Various laws, including the 2017 Law against Hatred and Resorte-ME, restrict speech perceived to incite hatred, violence, or “anxiety” within the population, particularly on the internet. The ongoing state of exception since 2016 has incorporated measures to counter cyber threats and authorise regulations preventing “destabilisation campaigns.”

In March 2021, the National Assembly endorsed a plan to amend or enact 35 laws, including Resorte-ME and the Cyberspace Law. A leaked draft of the Cyberspace Law suggests the government’s intention to further constrain freedom of expression online.

Independent journalists and non-governmental organisations engaged in analysing and reporting on Venezuelan affairs face severe regulatory and legal constraints, along with the constant threat of arrest and physical harm.

Many journalists and media outlets opt for self-censorship to evade persecution and undesirable repercussions, such as arbitrary detentions.

Read more facts on the state of press freedom in Venezuela in our report.

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