Venezuelanlaysis.com has been a widely acclaimed source of news and analysis of Venezuelan politics since 2003. It provides a critical look at the nation’s pro-poor Bolivarian Revolution and the mainstream media’s often highly distorted reporting of it. The site’s collective released slightly abridged the statement below about the temporary suspension of its Facebook page on August 16.
On the morning of August 16, our Facebook page was arbitrarily “unpublished” by Facebook with no warning or explanation, apart from a standard message informing us that we had allegedly violated the company's terms and conditions.
The timing of such a move is concerning for several reasons. Firstly, there is the international context, in which Facebook appears to be targetting independent or left-wing sites in the wake of “Russiagate”.
However, in terms of our own coverage, in the days leading up to our removal, we had published important pieces which challenge the corporate mainstream media narrative on Venezuela. Specifically, we published an article giving details on the assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, as well as a popular analysis criticising the mainstream media's coverage of the attack.
Venezuelanalysis has also been covering the growing international campaign to end US and Canadian sanctions against Venezuela, which are unilateral, coercive economic measures that are illegal under the Organization of American States as well as United Nations charters.
The campaign recently released a call to action for individual and organisational sign-ons condemning this act of economic strangulation. It has organised international days of action on August 14 to mark the one year anniversary of when the Trump administration heightened economic sanctions and threatened military intervention in Venezuela.
Venezuelanalysis.com is the only independent English language website covering news and analysis on Venezuela from a progressive perspective, and which platforms leftist grassroots voices from within Venezuela. It is run by committed journalists, authors and academics, and has been praised by renowned journalists and intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky and more.
We cannot help but feel that the removal of our page is related to an attempt to stifle the alternative and progressive perspectives that we feature on Venezuela.
Though our page was suddenly reinstated that evening, following our official appeal, as well as people expressing their support for us on Twitter and media interviews, Facebook has still not responded with any explanation for what happened, nor to inform us which terms and conditions we allegedly violated.