Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Friday called the expulsion of CNN and other journalists from Venezuela amidst worsening antigovernment violence there an assault on press freedom that further endangers its citizens.
“We must assume that Nicolás Maduro is kicking out CNN, CNN en Español and other foreign journalists as a precursor to even more violent and deadly tactics against innocent Venezuelans," he said. "This press assault is a worrying sign that Maduro intends to dig in and step up the violence with the false belief that the world will never find out because he’s kicking out journalists."
“This isn’t simply an assault against press freedom," he said. "It now poses an even graver danger to Venezuelan demonstrators who will now have fewer news outlets to tell the story of what’s happening there to the rest of the world."
CNN reported Friday that Venezuela had revoked or denied press credentials to CNN journalists in the country, following the president's announcement that he would expel them if they didn't "rectify" coverage of the protests.
CNN did not have an official comment, but according to a source, it still has a pair or reporters in Venezuela. CNN en Español anchor Patricia Janiot left Venezuela Friday and is expected to come on CNN to talk about the expulsion.
The source also pointed out that Venezuelan government officials have leveled criticisms about CNN for years.