Late Wednesday (September 21), Nicaragua’s government cut the feed from CNN en Español, prompting the network to condemn the decision made at the request of Eduardo Martin Salguera Landero, Director of the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post Office (TELCOR).
According to Reuters, CNN en Español was the only remaining network available for Nicaraguans to watch that was critical of President Daniel Ortega.
“Today the government of Nicaragua pulled our television signal, denying Nicaraguans news and information from our television network, which they have relied upon for 25 years,” CNN said in a statement Thursday (September 22).
When the network’s Spanish-language service ended its broadcast at 10 p.m. local time in Nicaragua, it was airing footage of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recorded remarks to the UN General Assembly this week.
“With President Daniel Ortega’s reelection in November 2021 for a fourth consecutive term, the independent media continue to endure a nightmare of censorship, intimidation and threats,” reads a description of Nicaragua’s media landscape at Reporters Without Borders. “Journalists are constantly stigmatized and subjected to harassment campaigns, arbitrary arrest and death threats. Many journalists have had to flee the country.”
In the past, Ortega punished his critics for speaking out publicly against him. Last year, Francisco Aguirre-Sacasa, an outspoken journalist and former Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States, was arrested and became a political prisoner of the Nicaraguan government.
This past summer, Aguirre-Sacasa’s son Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the creator of Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, again asked Ortega’s regime to grant his father’s release.
“A year ago today, my dad was arrested in Nicaragua while on his way to the US for a surgery,” he wrote. “I haven’t seen him, talked to him since. The time we have left with him is slipping away. We’re not ready to say goodbye.”