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US government urges Venezuela to find a solution to shortages affecting newspapers

The U.S. government is urging Venezuela to find a solution to a shortage of newsprint and other supplies that is squeezing the country's newspapers.

Venezuela's dailies have been beset for years by currency controls that make it difficult to import supplies, and for some the situation has become critical.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday that her government understands "that some newspapers are having difficulty securing newsprint, ink and other supplies to publish."

She said Washington believes Caracas should take actions to resolve the problem.

Because of the newsprint crisis, nine regional newspapers have closed in Venezuela since 2013, according to the local journalism watchdog Public Space. Major newspapers have reduced the number of pages they print.