"Intención Obligada de Venta", or Orwellianismo Endógeno

Soon to be but a memory.
Soon to be but a memory.

Leopoldo Castillo – the flagship anchor for Globovisión, Venezuela’s last remaining critical TV station – has just confirmed rumors of Globovision being sold out of the Zuloaga family’s control and into what we presume is a government-aligned investors. Globovisión VP described the current situation as there being “a formal bid” and an “intención obligada de venta” – a phrase so convoluted and weird I don’t even know how to translate it. “Forced intention to sell?”

What’s clear is that it’s lights out for Globovision just after the April 14th election, and years ahead of the digital switchover. At least the Zuloagas negotiated for time so that H. Capriles isn’t totally shut out of the broadcast spectrum ahead of the vote. Still, this is really dire news. We’re going to miss those magnificent bastards.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. Zuloaga did the math, better to sell now than to go broke in 18 months. The boliburgueses that are buying it will have the permit to broadcast renewed no questions asked. A sad day indeed.

    The only “good” thing about the operation is that it isn’t going to take before the elections (according to Leopoldo).

  2. “intención obligada de venta”: A new kind of hostile takeover, but with a dialed down hostility.

  3. I was wondering how many independent radio stations are left in Venezuela (AM and FM)? Pirate radio anyone?

  4. Inasfar as the TV channel in question has been called the sole remaining window, this episode immediately brings to mind a comment by Eddie Grey, a British fellow, who in 1914, observed that “The lights are going out all over Europe and we shall not see them lit again in our time.” Well, they did see them, albeit but momentarily before WWI, part II got under way but let us pray that, with this final sputtering into darkness, we shall not have to wait so long for the lights to be re-lit! Que La de Coromoto se ponga las pilas!

  5. I just read that Venezuelan law doesn’t allow insurance or banking companies to hold majority stakes in TV stations: are seeing something even crasser than appeared at first blush?

  6. “intencion obligada de vente” = “obligated intention to sell.”

    Sounds like they are being pressured to sell the network. The only way I would interpret”obligated intention to sell” would be that they do not have an option. The network must be sold.

    • I wouldn’t read too much into “obligation”. I think it only means there is a “binding agreement” in place which means both parties have agreed to the deal with no further conditions needed to be met; i.e. the deal is final. I don’t think the term means there were “obligated” to sell, it’s just a description of the stage of the deal, i.e. that the deal is binding, unconditional and binding.
      Whether they were obligated to sign the binding deal is another matter; and in my own opinion I wouldn’t be surprised it Globovision owners felt obligated to sign the obligation (binding deal) if that makes sense.

      • The problem with that is that Spanish has a perfectly good word to express “binding” – vinculante. If they had been trying to express that their commitment to sell was “binding”, they would have said it was “vinculante”, not “obligada”. Obligada implies coercion. I can’t believe they chose that word lightly.

  7. My husband is from northern ireland and he was telling me how the irish opened a radio stagion in a boat outside of UK territorial waters. I don’t know how many kms are the territorial waters off the coast of Venezuela? 10 kms? Well… There youngo, así sea en un peñero. Esa radio clandestina funcionó años y no pudieron hacer nada en UK.

    • They just transmitted pop music from international waters and ultimately gave way to the government allowing commercial radio stations and breaking the monopoly of the BBC. Can’t imagine LC doing his programme from a boat.

  8. I think I would have prefered having them go out like RCTV, just a last transmission and a black screen after. Now we will watch them slowly transform into an empty, tasteless shell like Venevision and Televen.

    I don’t even like the channel that much, maybe because I’m not exactly the target it caters to, but es lo que hay, and it was the only news station that I could trust in, even if it was only a bit.

    Sad news indeed, we lost our strongest fighter.

  9. President Mahmood Ahmadinejad probably can give Chavismo some instruction on how to black-out the internet and put down millions of protesters.

  10. well at some point in the future when the regime becomes unviable we will be able to measure the imflexion point….the day Venevision changes its editorial line

  11. This is a black day indeed for our so-called “democracy”.

    In terms of practicality, however, what’s the reach of the Globovision signal? (this is not rhetorical but an actual question, if somebody knows the answer).

    I understand only Caracas and Valencia get the channel. Is this correct? And that most people in classes D,E and F can’t/don’t watch it?

    If this is true, only the core opposition supporters will suffer for its demise (the ones that will always vote for the opposition candidate). Chavistas (hardcore and light) never watch Globovision anyway, I imagine. I have no idea what ni-nis do? Are they bothered?

    I think social media and a continuous face-to-face campaign from Capriles and company will be the answer to counteract what definitively looks like a total media hegemony. I wonder how the new regime will explain that to the international community …not that they care of course.

  12. “Obligada” by the circumstances, as well-expressed by Zuloaga in his letter to the some 500 employees: Conatel/multas/law suits/advertiser harassment/non-digital/se para de contar…. Anyway, what’s to fear from the buyer, who bankrupted his Banco Barinas many years ago (and, I’m sure, lost all his capital in the process, as so many owners of bankrupted Venezuelan banks/insurance companies have in the past 20-30 years), and now has a prosperous insurance company doing business with the Government??!!!?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here