Economic cyberwar

Pedro Maldonado, Director-General of CONATEL

Missing in the news whirlpool of the last few days was the recent online crackdown to shut down websites that informed (directly or indirectly) the prices of the black market foreign currency.

Last weekend, CONATEL opened an administrative investigation against eight Internet Service Providers and ordered them to take down those websites ASAP. So far, fifty sites have been blocked.

But that wasn’t the only action taken by CONATEL as part of the “economic offensive” recently launched by Nicolás Maduro. Its current head, Pedro Maldonado, met with the representatives of websites and a few days ago and reached with them an agreement to fight and control alleged price speculation, and to work together on a review of the legal framework.

Still, this new series of legal actions can be now added as part of the many, many problems with the quality of Internet in Venezuela. And speaking of quality (or lack thereof), there was another unexplained crash from State ISP Cantv ABA last Monday night. It wasn’t the first one this year, nor even the second. Perhaps, there’s a reason behind them all along.

Only time will tell if this crackdown was an one-off… or is a hint of a bigger clampdown.

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  1. In order to block the dreaded black market rate they will have to shut down Twitter, FaceBook & Instagram.

    I would love to see them try & close FB to Venezuelans. 🙂

    This whole thing is just another stupid move for the faithful or the ignorant.
    Anyone in Venezuela who wants to know the current market rate of the Bolivar can find out in 2 minutes.

    And, to top it all off, it didn’t accomplish anything as the rate jump another 10+% the same day.

    • You know, I think they really do think they can control the internet. Who in the government is going to contradict them? One of the weaknesses of dictatorships is that they have a tendency to kill the messenger. Thus, the leadership gets fed a lot of BS and very little bad news, thus skewing the strategic picture. The dictators are often truly shocked to find that their position is far worse than they thought.

  2. In their fly swatter approach to hide the truth today they are blocking (at least on ABA) the very well written blog Venepiramides at

    These excellent daily articles about the economy of Venezuela really had nothing to do with the reporting on the exchange rate however they were very revealing (in Spanish) about the true state of things here.

    Big sigh!


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