Venezuela's president tightens grip on media

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Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2013 12:00 am

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - As Gov. Henrique Capriles campaigned for president of Venezuela last April, he couldn't venture more than a few steps without being hounded by dozens of sharp-elbowed cameramen and photographers. Nearly eight months later, the visibly thinner and exhausted opposition leader is accompanied by just a handful of journalists at what was supposed to be one of the final, electrifying opposition rallies ahead of this weekend's mayoral elections.

Critics say the shrinking media coverage has been deliberate. Even while Venezuelans endure their toughest economic crisis in 15 years of socialist rule, the opposition has been largely knocked from public view by what they claim is a government-led campaign to intimidate media outlets that give airtime to the opposition and the nation's mounting woes.

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