Silent Landlines, Broken Internet and the Cantv-ication Breakdown

The basic infrastructure of State telecom company Cantv is in shambles as Reuters recently found out and of course, ordinary Venezuelans are the ones paying the price. Hugo Chávez’s home state of Barinas, knows first hand about the consequences of corruption, theft and disrepair caused by the revolution.

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?