Have you tried to connect with someone in Venezuela lately?
Over the last year, I've met several Venezuelans who are living in the Dallas area. All of them are under some asylum timeline and waiting for a judge to confirm or deny their case. They are generally well educated and connected to the anti-Chávez opposition. They fear for their lives or personal safety, and I understand that. Last, but not least, they obeyed the law.
They also complain about internet connections to Venezuela. They will often go days without making contact with their families.
Today, I saw this post by Sabrina Martin about internet connectivity:
Venezuela, one of the countries with the least amount of freedom in the world, now enjoys yet another dubious distinction: it is among the three nations with the worst internet connection in the entire world.
According to the Speedtest Global Index, the country, governed by Nicolás Maduro, was ranked 128th out of 130 countries, ahead of only Algeria (129) and Yemen (130). The study also reveals that Venezuela is the country with the worst internet connection in Latin America.
Algeria and Yemen? Not good company, to say the least.
With all due respect to anyone from Algeria and Yemen, Venezuela was a middle-class country with a developed TV and radio market. Until recently, it also had a very good internet situation.
So what's going on? The Maduro government borrowed a page from the Castro regime.
Over the years, the Castro regime played the "lights out" game whenever it wanted to stop Cubans from listening to Miami radio or Radio Martí. Most Cubans don't have battery-operated radios, so "no lights, no Miami Radio."
In Venezuela, they are using the connectivity excuse to keep the opposition from talking to each other or doing interviews with foreign media.
I've had to reschedule many podcasts because we can't get an internet connection. We try phone lines, and the contact goes off often.
This is censorship, not poverty or anything like that. The Maduro government does not want Venezuelans talking with their relatives in Dallas or elsewhere.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.