KEYS: Why did DirecTv stop operations in Venezuela?

The company surprised its 700 local workers and 2.3 million subscribers alike when on May 19 it announced that it would no longer operate in Venezuela.

The company announced to its workers and clients the ended of its operations in the country.

By Vanessa Leonett.

On May 19, DirecTv announced to Venezuelans the end of its operations in the country. The measure surprised users, who were quick to react in social networks.

Amidst the confusion, the company later issued a statement explaining the reasons that led to the management of AT&T, owner of DirecTv, to make the decision.

  • 1.- The company alleged that it could not comply with the requirements of the Nicolas Maduro and, at the same time, avoid the sanctions imposed by the U.S. Government on the Maduro regime.
  • 2.- The U.S. sanctions prevent DirecTv from broadcasting two Venezuelan TV channels, Globovision and PDVSA TV, as well as some other channels that the U.S. considers part of the regime’s propaganda machine. Globovision owner, Raul Gorrin, is wanted in the U.S. while state oil company PDVSA has been sanctioned since 2018.
  • 3.-Parallel to the measures taken by the United States, Nicolas Maduro made it a mandatory requirement for DirecTv to broadcast the Globovision and PDVSA TV signals to operate in Venezuela.
  • 4.- Given the difficulty of complying with the regulations of both governments, DirecTv decided to cease operations.
  • 5.- The measure was taken by the DirecTV board, based in the U.S. and the directors of the company in Venezuela had no participation.
  • 6.- The reasons why the U.S. government has forbidden the transmission of Globovision’s signal is because it considers that this media is acting in the service of Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship.
  • 7.- In January 2020, the U.S Government announced the block of Globovision, a company belonging to Raul Gorrin, who is wanted by the U.S justice system for money laundering.
  • Before the closure measure, the company (DirecTv) faced pressure from both the Maduro regime and the U.S. government. The regime demanded the transmission of the signal of the national channels, particularly those that support his government policy, and took off the air international television stations that broadcast information contrary to the regime: such as CNN in Spanish and NTN24.
  • 9.- For its part, the United States pressured the company to keep the channels that Maduro ordered to be taken off the air on its programming schedule, while at the same, time failing to comply with the regime’s requirement to maintain the signals of the national channels, mainly Globovision and PDVSA TV.
  • 10.- In December 2019, representatives of the United States government met with directors of AT&T, the company that owns DirecTv, and asked it stop to the Maduro regime’s propaganda machine by removing the channels loyal to the regime from its programming, and restoring the signal of those Maduro ordered taken off the air.

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