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National telecom takes Russia Today off the air following complaint by interior minister

Ecuador’s public television provider, the National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC), has cut off its broadcast of RT (Russia Today) in Spanish. The move comes weeks after Ecuador’s interior minister complained about RT covering local protests.

The broadcast was cut off on Thursday without any prior notice or explanation, says RT, which is funded by the Russian government. The NTC’s only comment was to tell its customers that the channel 778, which was the one carrying RT Spanish, is not included in the package anymore, and offer three sports channels instead.

RT has still not received any comment from the NTC and its reasons for cutting the channel remain unclear. Last month, Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo blamed RT for the increased level of “violence” President Lenin Moreno faced in the media field during the massive protests that gripped the Latin American nation.

Romo slammed the “attacks in social media” that allegedly targeted Moreno, adding that he faced almost the same level of hatred in the media as in the streets. She also spoke about large amounts of “false information” in the media field, and singled out “a public channel of the Russian government” for broadcasting live the protests that had been raging in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito for almost two weeks and made some parts of the city look like a war zone.

The minister called RT’s coverage “striking”, but admitted that the channel did cover “everything that was happening in the streets.”

The director of NTC says the decision to remove RT was based on numbers and not on Romo’s opinion. “The programming failed to build adequate viewership,” he said.

Earlier, Ecuadorian officials had complained that RT was providing a political platform for former president Rafael Correa, friend-turned-enemy of Moreno, who has been interviewed extensively on the network.

Despite the minister’s close attention to RT’s line of work, the channel was far from alone in covering the biggest protests in the last 15 years of Ecuador’s history. The likes of Spanish EFE, El País, La Vanguardia alongside with Columbia’s El Tiempo and Argentinian Infobae were broadcasting the demonstrations live as well.

The protests were sparked by Moreno’s government austerity decree that canceled fuel subsidies. The IMF-approved measure particularly drew the ire of indigenous communities, who led the protests.

Riots that saw protesters storming government buildings even forced Moreno out of the capital for a short while and eventually made the government scrap the controversial measure. Meanwhile, Moreno directly accused Correa and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of an attempt to “destabilize” his country.
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Credit: Russia Today, www.rt.com

10 thoughts on “National telecom takes Russia Today off the air following complaint by interior minister

  1. Must be work of Russian hackers, darlink. We have identified code names of Russian hackers; they are: moose and squirrel.

    1. There is a big difference between free press and inciting rioting and violence and damaging property which the owners have to repair at their own cost

  2. I went to RT in English. The Ecuadorian govt. is censoring it because Correa has a platform there to speak every week in Spanish.

  3. This news outlet is not free speech. One man, Putin, is pulling the strings and getting the rioters to be more aggressive and create more disruption and making it as difficult as possible for Moreno then turning and saying “see democracy is not so great”. Putins goal is to help Correas way of thinking. Most people can see through this rouse but unfortunately not all and some will believe Putin. Putin wants one thing and one thing only and that is POWER.

    Their main goal is to trash democracy and freedom and promote communism and authoritarianism. They use socialism as the carrot that brings the people in. They end up paying so much money for these freebies that they usually need to resort to illegal means to sustain their power.

    Free speech is one thing but this news media has the sole purpose of indoctrinating people to believe communism and socialism is the most effective government. Meanwhile the socialist countries are suffering and have proven to be ineffective.

    Teaching a group of people that authoritarians are the way to govern and using socialism as a way of selling it to the masses is the way Russia China Venezuela Nicaragua and these authoritarians keep their power. And power is their main goal.

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