Venezuela Shuts Off CNN in Spanish After Criticizing Story

Venezuela's government has suspended CNN in Spanish, shutting off the news channel after a report on fraudulent passports that drew angry criticism from officials.

The country's National Telecommunications Commission announced Wednesday that it initiated the "administrative sanction" because of news stories it considered "direct aggressions" against Venezuela.

It did not specifically mention the passport story, but earlier in the day other government officials held a news conference to dispute the CNN story.

CNN aired a report on Feb. 6 based on a whistleblower's allegations that Venezuelan officials had been selling passports from the country's embassy in Iraq to people of Middle Eastern origin, including a few members of terrorist groups.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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