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Spanish journalist is 12th foreign correspondent to be expelled from Venezuela in 2019



*This story has been updated.

A Spanish journalist is the latest foreign correspondent covering the sociopolitical crisis in Venezuela to be ordered to leave the country by the government of President Nicolás Maduro, according to local and international media.

Joan Guirado (YouTube)

On May 8, Joan Guirado was detained by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin, for its initials in Spanish), held incommunicado and then taken to the Maiquetía airport, according to OK Diario, the Spanish digital newspaper for which he is a correspondent.

I recover (partial) freedom after a few hours detained by Nicolás Maduro’s Sebin. I’m fine, wanting to return home as soon as possible,” he wrote via Twitter, according to EFE. “It’s not a pleasant experience, especially when the only thing you are doing is doing journalism.”

Guirado’s Tweets are now protected, but EFE reported that he also posted a photograph displaying a stamp on his passport that he said indicated his expulsion.

However, Jorge Rodríguez, minister of the popular power for communication and information of the Maduro government, posted on Twitter that Guirado "left the country with his tourist visa in normal conditions on February 7." He attached a screenshot showing an entrance into the county on Feb. 2. However, there are no indications if subsequent flights were made to the country, as pointed out by local media.

Joan Guirado had reported repression against the local and international press in the country, according to OK Diario.

“The repression against professionals of Venezuelan and international media is now greater than during the first attempt to end the regime, in the month of January,” he said, according to the site. “The Bolivarian police not only detain and expel journalists, but also strip them of all their belongings during the process of investigation before returning them back to the plan on which they landed.”

The National Association of Venezuelan Journalists (CNP), wrote that Guirado is the 12th international correspondent to be deported from the country in 2019 and the 53rd press worker to be detained.

 

*This story was updated to clarify that Guirado said the stamp on his passport indicated he was ordered expelled. It now also contains comments from a Venezuelan government representative.



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