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Venezuela’s Oldest Daily Newspaper, El Impulso, Shuttered Due to Paper Shortage

Image: Venezuela's oldest  newspaper El Impulso is shutting down.
Venezuela's oldest newspaper El Impulso is shutting down. El Impulso

Venezuela's oldest daily newspaper is going out of circulation, not because of the economic crisis plaguing most industries in the country — but because they have run out of paper.

El Impulso, which has been in circulation since 1904, will print its last physical newspaper Saturday because the state-owned paper importer has stopped work. The newspaper will continue to publish online after the new year.

For the past three years seven major newspapers in Venezuela have stopped circulating. Publisher Carlos Eduardo Carmona said in a statement that the newspaper depended on imported paper, and the government-owned source's decision to halt work is part of systematic censorship. El Impulso has been hugely critical of President Nicholas Maduro and his socialist policies.

"The government, through its agencies, is blocking us from publishing daily, leaving us no choice but to suspend publication," Carmona said in a statement.

Maduro has been criticized for actively targeting publications critical of his administration, but denies accusations of actively working to censor newspapers.

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In an article discussing the end of the daily print paper, Marxy Rodriguez, who has worked for more than 16 years at the company, detailed all of the hardships she has faced over the last two years at the newspaper due to the paper shortage.

"The stress has been constant but I never thought this day would come. I held on to the belief that the paper would arrive — it'd come last minute but it would arrive — to know that we now face an imminent end is heartbreaking."

El Impulso produced a video of Venezuelans defending the publication. Artists, politicians, lawyers and others spoke their thoughts on the news in Spanish.

"The end of our print version seems imminent," the video caption reads in Spanish. "And this is why public figures who make a life for themselves in politics, and who defend human rights, have spoken out in support of the right that you as have as a citizen to be informed and the one we have to continue working on behalf of this country."

El Impulso is based out of Barquisimeto in western Venezuela.

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