Venezuela paper seized in defamation case filed by top leader


A woman holds up the final printed edition of El Nacional on December 14, 2018, with its front page reading “El Nacional is a warrior and will keep on fighting”

Venezuelan authorities on Friday  seized the headquarters of a newspaper critical of President Nicolas Maduro’s government, to cover $13 million in compensation that a court had ordered it to pay a top official in a defamation case.

“At this very moment, a judge surrounded by national guards entered the building of El Nacional to seize everything,” tweeted newspaper president-director Miguel Henrique Otero.

“The process of paying the compensation has begun,” Cabello said on Twitter.

El Nacional had asked the Supreme Court to explain how it came to the astronomical figure of $13 million, given a previous decision reached in 2018 ordered the newspaper to pay one billion bolivars, worth around $600 on the black market at that time.

It has spent two decades clashing with the Chavism movement of the late former president Hugo Chavez and his successor Maduro, who accuses the newspaper of conspiring with the opposition to overthrow him.

More than 100 media outlets have shut down since Maduro came to power, according to the NGO Espacio Publico.





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