Seven CNN journalists had their credentials revoked or denied in Venezuela after President Nicolas Maduro called them “fascists” and criticized their coverage of antigovernment protests there, the network reported Friday.
CNN posted a story about the expulsion order Friday afternoon on its website.
The network said that the journalists, who worked for CNN International and CNN en Espanol, were told their media credentials were being revoked or denied.
The move came hours after a Maduro speech Thursday in which he criticized the network, saying it was failing to focus on good news beyond the street protests that have engulfed the nation for days.
CNN said its teams from outside Venezuela were told to book flights back to their home countries.
Venezuela’s attorney general said Friday that eight people have died, and 137 have been injured nationwide after more than two weeks of protests waged by opponents of the socialist government. Thousands of Venezuelans reportedly took to the streets again Friday.
Maduro, a leftist ally of late President Hugo Chavez, has accused the United States of stirring up the opposition.
Three U.S. diplomats also were expelled from Venezuela this week.