Trinidad Express Newspaper has been forced to close its offices and suspend operations in Venezuela after a report released last month alleges the newspaper is engaged in war crimes and “disguised as journalism” in its coverage of the country’s political crisis.
The report, which was released by the newspaper’s own investigative team, says that the newspaper was in fact operating as a propaganda outlet that sought to mislead the public and mislead the authorities into believing it was reporting on the government’s crackdown on protests.
The newspaper, which has been publishing editorials and commentary since 2009, is owned by the Trinidadian-owned newspaper, the Express, which also owns the countrys official daily newspaper, La Nacion.
The Express also publishes several other newspapers in Venezuela, including a daily, the newspaper La Libertad.
Trinidad Express Editor-in-Chief Carlos Alvarado said the newspaper had been shut down by the government.
Alvarados told Al Jazeera: “I’m shocked, I’m furious.
It’s not only the newspapers, the papers are closing down.”
The newspaper’s staff, he said, had been suspended.
“The papers are not allowed to operate and they have to stop publication,” Alvaradas said.
“We are not able to go on with the business we have.”
Alvarés also pointed to the newspaper as a possible target for Venezuelan authorities.
“What we are trying to do is expose the truth,” he said.
The government says it has killed and detained tens of thousands of people since the protests began in March.
Human rights groups say the situation is far from peaceful and have accused President Nicolas Maduro’s government of killing tens of people.
The Venezuelan government has blamed the protests on the United States-backed Venezuelan opposition, which is largely composed of U.S.-based political activists.
“They [the opposition] are trying hard to portray that it’s not just a democratic uprising but it’s a war against the Bolivarian Revolution, a war,” Al Jazeera’s Luis Arguello, reporting from Caracas, said from Washington, DC.
“And I think what they’re doing is putting their own country at risk and trying to undermine the government.”
Venezuela’s president has also accused journalists of working with the opposition.
The president also said that the media has a “right to criticize” the government, while also blaming those responsible for the protests for the violence.
Venezuela’s government has denied the accusations.