He did not explain why he took down CNN’s Spanish service, and did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. The cable operators that carry CNN en Español in the country also did not respond.
“Today the Nicaraguan government pulled our television signal, denying the news and information from our television network that Nicaraguans have trusted for 25 years,” the US service said in a statement.
Nicaragua’s government under fifth-term president Daniel Ortega has cracked down on the press and critics over the past two years.
“CNN en Español was the only outlet available to Nicaraguans with President Daniel Ortega,” Reuters reported Thursday.
CNN en Español said Nicaraguans can continue to find news in Spanish on its website.
“CNN en Español will continue to fulfill its responsibility to the Nicaraguan public by providing links to our news stories on CNNEspanol.com so that they can access information that is otherwise unavailable to them.”
“CNN stands by our network’s reporting and our commitment to truth and transparency,” the statement said, adding, “At CNN en Español, we believe in the vital role that press freedom plays in a healthy democracy.”
In March of this year, Arturo McFields, Nicaragua’s ambassador to the Organization of American States, described his country’s government as a “dictatorship”, citing, among other things, the repression of independent reporting and the imprisonment of dissidents and political rivals.
“Since 2018, Nicaragua has become the only Central American country without a printed newspaper. There is no freedom to publish a simple tweet, [or posting] a simple comment on social media,” he said.
“There are no human rights institutions… They have all been closed, expelled or shut down. There are no independent political parties, no credible elections, no division of powers,” he continued.
Nicaraguan state media later published a letter on Twitter saying McFields does not represent Ortega’s government.