One of the tweets with which the Venezuelan Press Syndicate denounced the closure of broadcasters in the state of Cojedes

The Venezuelan regime of President Nicolás Maduro hardly makes headlines when it shuts down inconvenient stations. The Web documents deactivations on an almost monthly basis, but in July 2022 Conatel (Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones) officials worked overtime shutting down as many as six stations in Cojedes state. The raid always occurs on Fridays: July 1, 15 and 29, 2022. First to pay the price was Candela 92.9 FM in San Carlos, where officials (apparently entered without a warrant to check the regularity of the license, along with two prosecutors, intelligence officers and national police) seized the transmitter and mixer, leaving ten people out of work. Same script on July 15, when members of the Bolivarian National Guard, shut down Moda 105.1 FM, NEX 100FM and Hits 92.5 FM, all from San Carlos (another 30 workers on the street). The last to receive a visit from Conatel officials were Luna 95.5 FM (Mango Redondo) and Impacto 91.7 FM (San Carlos). A total of sixty workers on the street. Twelve stations were closed in 2022.

More details can be found in the IPYS article.


The La Patilla news agency reported on the closure of the two radio stations and the reactions of the opposition
The La Patilla news agency reported on the closure of the two radio stations and the reactions of the opposition

President Nicolás Maduro Moros continues to get tough on non-aligned radio stations. Two important stations in San Juan de Los Morros, fifty kilometres southwest of Caracas in the state of Guárico, are the latest to suffer. Radio Éxitos had been on the air on 90.5 MHz for 20 years (it was part of the Unión Radio Éxitos circuit), while Calle FM, on 98.5, had exceeded 40 years of activity (the channel was taken over by Play Top Radio). Both radio stations were stripped of their licences by Conatel (National Telecommunications Commission). Also, both radio stations were critical of regional and national government policies, but Anderson Tovar, opposition political leader in the state of Guárico, called the closure illegal.

VENEZUELA: Another uncomfortable voice has been turned off

Another uncomfortable voice has been turned off
The news of Selecta FM’s closure was spread by the journalists’ union in two tweets.

The repression of President Nicolás Maduro’s regime has claimed another victim: Selecta FM, which operated on 102.7 MHz from Machiques, in the state of Zulia, in the northwest of the South American country. It was deactivated by Conatel (Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones) officials, who seized the equipment on the evening of Friday, 5 March 2021. This was reported by the SNTP (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Prensa), which wrote on Twitter that the station had already been intimidated on 26 February, when its premises were attacked during an interview with an opposition leader. More details in the article.

Selecta continues broadcasting on the web

Another uncomfortable voice has been turned off
On the radio station’s website, you can see to the right of the station’s name the words “online”. But if you scroll down the page you see the image of the app for Android smartphones which still mentions the FM frequency (in the following image).

Venezuela: Radio stations self-censor to avoid closure

connate, gobierno bolivariano de Venezuela - Venezuelan government body
The website of Conatel, the Venezuelan government body that ‘monitors’ the broadcasters

President Nicolas Maduro’s regime holds broadcasters in check by imposing sanctions or closures. Hence journalists are self-censoring to avoid trouble. The radio stations are kept a check on by Conatel (Comision Nacional de Telecomunicaciones), the Venezuelan telecommunications regulator, which is very quick to revoke broadcast licenses of ‘rogue’ radio stations. They closed over 60 broadcasters in 2018. The Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores del Prensa has reported that another 27 radio stations have suffered loss of equipment due to theft.

Rumbera has relocated to the Internet

rumba network, venezuela valles del tuy online radio station
Rumbera Network from Los Valles del Tuy’s website
After the radio station’s closure they continue with online transmissions

The latest broadcaster to end up in the sights of the inspectors is a radio station of Rumbera Network (one of 21 stations) that transmitted on 106.9 FM from Los Valles del Tuy, in the state of Miranda. In February 2020 their antenna was damaged and then on May 15th, 2020 Conatel closed them down because their broadcasting license had expired. This was a decision that the owner, Eliu Ramos, deemed discriminatory because a large number of radio stations transmitting in the country have not been authorised and are not sanctioned. He added that he had applied for a renewal of the license several times, but the application had always been declined. Transmissions now continue on the Internet.

To find out more 

Día de la radio en venezuela: radio day in venezuela existing since 1926
The subject of journalists’ self-censorship is tackled on the Carabobeña website

The Venezuelan periodical, El Carabobeño gives more details on the situation of broadcasters here. It was published on May 20th, 2020, on the occasion of National Radio Day which was established in 1926 when the country began radio transmissions on mediumwave. FM transmissions, on the other hand, began on January 1st, 1975.

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