CJZl2_mWsAA-aMpThe National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) has expanded its core duties into supporting the State’s repression apparatus by monitoring what Venezuelans say on social media, among other things. But as CONATEL tries to do too much at once, its workers are feeling the strain.

On Wednesday, CONATEL employees organized an impromptu protest right in front of the agency’s main offices to press for better wages, new uniforms, social security benefits, and above all, the right to form their own union.

One CONATEL worker, Denny Brazón said a formal letter was sent last year to their bosses asking for solutions to their demands, but they received no response. They want the Labor Ministry to get involved in their case ASAP.

CONATEL’s employees are not alone: many public sector workers claim their collective bargaining agreements expired years ago, and the central government has shown little interest in renewing them or opening negotiations with independent workers’ unions. At least two million workers of our ginormous public administration are stuck in this situation.

What’s the stance of CONATEL’s management? Director-General William Castillo seems to believe that his subordinates’ working conditions of  are not priority. Instead, he is focusing on get new legal tools to fight a new kind of cyber-crimes, which are part of the “economic war”. Either he buys his own theories or he just saw “Enemy of the State” too many times.

“There’s not only bachaqueo of products by electronic means, part of the economic war, Venezuela is also used as bridge for voice and data transit, those new phenomenons cost the country millions of dollars.”

And looks like he has Luisa Ortega Diaz’s back, as Castillo also wants to “regulate” the use of social networks. That will be tough to do without any workers to back you up.

10 thoughts on “CONATEL Blues

  1. Really? Aren’t socialists supposed to be on the side of the worker: de los humildes, por los humildes, y para los humildes? This smells more like the big bad wolf wearing Little Red Riding Hood’s cape.


  2. Que se j………..!!!! I find it amazing how they think that just because they are socialists the government policies will only affect opposition people.


  3. Hay que pararse con un megáfono delante de ellos y gritarles “Cojan patria, shiabbe dijo que desnudos y pasando hambre lo único que importa era salvar la robolusión”.

    Que vaina con estos socialistas que no les gusta cuando el socialismo les llega a ellos.


  4. I hope the opposition talks to these people who are putting their jobs and personal security on the line seeking independent unions. Organized labour is one of the few effective forces against a regime like this one. It surprises me that there is not more of this kind of thing, because we all know people who are owed sometimes years of back pay and benefits and are not getting new contracts. And while they get the run-around from their overseers, they have in their hands the levers of the thought-control system of the state. Is that not some bargaining power?


    • I’m always amazed that the only people on the oppo that have tried to court the syndicates were….the Citizen Assemblies. I mean, really?


      • Doesn’t make sense. The PDVSA strike seems to have turned peoples’ attention away from the one proven non-violent means of moving a very bad regime.


        • That’s because the “you only need to go and wet the pinky, then you can go listen salsa in your house” method is way too appealing for that part of people’s mind that doesn’t want to have any risk at all, the easiest way out.


  5. Telling quote: “One CONATEL worker, Denny Brazón said a formal letter was sent last year to their bosses asking for solutions to their demands, but they received no response. They want the Labor Ministry to get involved in their case ASAP.”

    At some point, when the job offers no futuire and the socialist platitudes ring hollow, the worker will ask: What’s in it for me? When this happens in the public sector, as it is starting to happen big time, and the very socialists asking “receive no response,” the ruling part will eventually stand alone, with no pueblo or public sector to do their bidding. With the mokney all gone the handouts are over.

    Is this the tipping point? The situation cannot be contrasted with Cuba or other socialist countries because Venezuela still has oil and a hefty income – leveraged to the moon, for sure, but there is money coming in, but going to increasingly fewer hands. As mentioned, once the military is no longer living large, when their money buys nothing at all, how much longer can this farce really last?



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