Photo: Notitotal retrieved

Venezuelan infrastructure is collapsing, and prime evidence of this is Cantv, the public company that went private in the 90s, re-nationalized by the late comandante eterno back in 2007.

Time and again we’ve covered its steep decline, but this recent piece by Reuters’ Angus Berwick shows how, in places like Barinas, the abandonment is more than obvious:

Barinas, also the area where former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lived and studied as a youth, has been one of the areas hardest hit by the deterioration in Cantv service. In some places, coverage has been completely lost.

Rusting service vehicles sit abandoned outside the phone company’s local headquarters, as it cannot afford new tires or batteries, the current and former employees told Reuters. Cantv’s own offices there often spend days without internet, they said.

Some of the rusted electrical circuits providing internet to Barinas homes have not been replaced since the early 1990s and several residents said they had gone over a year without a connection.”

Cantv still has some valuable equipment, thanks to Chinese companies like ZTE but, as another report by Mr. Berwick told us, their work is less about connecting people and more about monitoring them for political control.

And looks like the carnet de la patria will be more useful for the government’s efforts in the near future, as their electoral arm now wants to identify the “political character” of people and classify them as either hardcore supporters, soft voters or opponents. STASI would be proud.

There’s a very small silver lining for Cantv, though: It’s not the only Venezuelan State company with a faulty infrastructure causing lots of trouble to many inhabitants. Verdad, PDVSA?

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  1. Realities of Venezuela Oct 2018
    2 weeks ago our CANTV personal line (we also have a business line) failed.
    Unfortunately it was the line that also had our DSL (ABA) connection so it was a major issue.
    We reported it to 151 but could never talk to anyone – just recordings that said they would fix it as soon as possible.
    We knew from news reports that there are over 1 million CANTV phones in Venezuela that aren’t working.
    In the last week when we tried the 151 number they said they couldn’t process our report.
    We now know that sometime early this week their computer platform collapsed and continues down – no reports or payments possible.
    We went to the CANTV office in Sambil here in Margarita only to find the employees all standing outside the office telling us they had “no linea”.
    We asked them what we could do and they shrugged saying they could do nothing.
    One suggested we go early in the morning to the main CANTV office in Porlamar to find a technician and get him to come out to Playa El Agua (30 km) and fix it.
    My wife went at 7 am to the building with the lady that works for us and found the repair guy who does our area.
    Fortunately our employee knew him.
    The next day we returned to Porlamar to pick him and another guy up, drive them to another part of the Island to get a ladder and then to our house.
    It took about an hour for them to find the problem and repair it.
    4 beers, BsS.3.000 and return them and the ladder top Porlamar later our phone and ABA are working.
    They informed us that of a fleet of vehicles numbering 58 here in Nueva Esparta only 3 are working.
    They also have no repair parts.

    Just another day in today’s Venezuela.

    • so good to see your posting IC.. maybe the day will come when I can safely book a vacation with you, online.. when I first lived/worked in Anzoategui the Cantv ABA service was faster than my home in US, for the 90% of time it worked..

      • Unfortunately due to the lack of tourism here in Margarita our posada has been closed for 2 years.
        Too expensive to maintain (pool cloro, A/Cs, etc.) for the little business available.
        Maybe the future will be brighter. Ha ha ha

          • Watch 360 GEO from Deutsche TV ARTE. I’m sure they have ample programming on how nice are things in Venezuela. You are just missing the right media outlet.

  2. There’s little money to steal doing any maintenance. Too much work and no cigar. Therefore, nothing is maintained in Vzla, in any decrepit industry that’s left. Why bother? Cuanto hay pa’ eso?

    • Steal, no. But is there money in it in other ways? Certainly!

      As mentioned below my parents havent had internet for 5 months. In the same manner as IC did my dad has gone to find a tech that he will pick up, take to the junction box by my parents house, buy any spare parts (if possible), and give the tech a nice tip. All in all the tech will make quite a bit more that day than what he normally will sitting around the local CANTV office…

  3. But, Internet service is free, isn’t it. Like gasoline and energy are free. Isn’t Telefónica-Spain through a local operator the main Internet provider? I wouldn’t complain too much.

    The day you don’t have Internet then you should start worrying about.

    • Unfortunately that day is here…my parents havent had internet for the past 5 months. And they live in a nice area of CCS!

      No surprise considering what the bills amount to in USD…no way to buy spare parts with $0.23.

  4. The tripartite division of society as “hardcore supporters”, “softcore supporters” and “opponents” is precisely the scheme adopted long ago by North Korea. In North Korea, the designation was heritable: “opponents” includes children and grandchildren of people who had been capitalists, clergymen, employees of the former government, or who had moved to the South. “Opponents” could never get advanced education or good jobs, and got the worst of public housing. “Hardcore” supporters, of course, included the families of members of the Party. (Zimbabwe has a version of it: so-called “warriors” of the armed struggle again white rule. Each year, as they paraded by Mugabe, they got younger and younger, as sons inherited “warrior” status from fathers – but then, Mugabe was familiar with North Koreans – he used them to massacre the people of Matabeleland.)

    So Chavismo does not depend for inspiration solely on Cuba – it also shares its evil concept of society with North Korea – updated with Chinese technology, of course. And it has borrowed the inflationary skills of Zimbabwe. I am beginning to think that the Hindu caste system – with its untouchables – is relatively benign (because less totalitarian). Such is progress!

  5. @BernardHood: I will steal your analysis. This is very well done

    PS: Paris is burning. Unless the government brings hardcore order to the populace you will see Revolution Française redo & live. One of the new demands or requests is to name a popular assembly that will take care of all business. Like in Robespierre and Danton times. I suspect this is not the far left stirring the pot; the far-right maybe. Yesterday the latter won the Andalucia regional election and with that Pablo Iglesias (aka Chavez singing a Martillo) will be goingto the classroom of leftist Trotskyists again.

    Coming back to ”Paris is burning” it all started because bon enfant Macron wanted to do something very ecolo: he raised the tax on gasoil. Since 1939, all European cars were driven by any combustion stuff that would ignite under pressure only. Later in the ’70s precisely along the first OPEC embargo, all these stupid governments persuaded the populace that Diesel was better than Gasoline. If you go to shitholes of Milan, Paris, Amsterdam etc. The pollution is so high that you can’t see a thing above you. Allergies kill you more than a regular cold. Etc. So a well-intentioned decision to make the air more breathable is burning la cité des lumières

    And for nothing, that happened in Caracas too.

    Or if this is a true Revolution Française redo, then soon they will be killing each other. Eventually, they will call a king or technocrats to take care of business.

    Or worse, Putin will be taking care of all business in Europe. And the worst is, this time Whateverzuela will miss the train wagon sending gasoil to Europe.

    So after all, how important Internet is in this moment other than calling each other to burn the most beautiful city in the world.

    Why don’t you burn Caracas down?


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