BY- KRISHNA SRIDHAR
On Friday, a Venezuelan Court seized the headquarters of a renowned newspaper, El Nacional Newspaper. This was because the newspaper company failed in making their payment of 13 million rupees in a defamation suit. The amount was supposed to be given to a socialist party top official, Diosdado Cabello, who argued the party and its leader. The suit was declared In the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice last month, which was the result of a 2015 lawsuit filed by Cabello, vice president and lawmaker of the ruling party (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) against El Nacional. It was alleged that the newspaper reprinted an article from a Spanish newspaper claiming that United States officials were investigating Cabello for involving in drug trafficking.
The paper, during that time, said that it would not pay the amount. Cabello started on Twitter that “This afternoon, the corresponding courts, in response to my lawsuit against El Nacional, have placed signage and notified of the seizure, and have initiated the process of paying the indemnity. We will overcome!” Subsequently, Cabello was sanctioned by the United States in 2018 but he denied any such allegations regarding drug trafficking. Jorge Makriniotis, El Nacional’s manager, called the move “a new attack on democracy, freedom of expression, [and] private property. With this measure, they will not break our critical editorial stance on the Venezuelan government,”.
Meanwhile, Cabello stated that El Nacional will be converted into a university: “the international university of communication”. The US Department of State has offered a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Cabello. The State Department has linked Cabello with violent narco-terrorism and is considered the “illegitimate president of Venezuela’s Constituent National Assembly.”