El Carabobeno’s article takes its cue from a tweet by Espacio Publico, an organization fighting for press freedom

The census of Venezuelan stations closed in the last three months continues. On 14 September 2022, Conatel officials targeted radio stations in Cumaná, in the state of Sucre, where five stations were silenced. The stations are: 89.7 Radio Boom; 95.1 Mágica FM; 100.9 Café FM “Con aroma de café!”; 101.3 Cool FM “La emisora entretenida”; 102.1 NVH Radio. But there is also a tweet from the SNTP journalists’ union, the primary source of information on the closures, where it turns out that another radio station, switched off on the same day, has to be added to these. It is 107.9 Centeno FM.
20 September 2022: three stations in Cabimas, in the state of Zulia, are targeted: 92.7 Éxitosa FM; 93.5 Suprema FM (Christian station); 98.5 Jerusalén Stereo FM.

October is no different

The tweet of the National Union of Press Workers with the news of the closures

3 October 2022. Conatel forced 107.7 Sonora to take off air the opinion programme ‘Frente al Paredón‘, a radio station with 42 years of consecutive broadcasts, by journalist Moisés Reyes. In Yaracuy, three more stations closed in early October: 102.9 Luz, 90.3 Oasis and El Trocadero, and Cuarto Angel 106.3.

The closures in Cabimas announced by Espacio Público (Espacio Público aims to promote and defend human rights, in particular, freedom of expression)

On the same day, Conatel started a document review process for the station Super 101.5 FM, based in Ocumare del Tuy, Miranda state. Three days later the station decided to switch off to avoid sanctions. Their lawyer, José Luis Azuaje, pointed out that the station had complied with all Conatel’s requirements, but had been waiting for an answer on its concession for at least seven years.

SNTP’s tweet announcing that Conatel closed two radio stations on 14 October because the concession would expire

14 October: 105.3 FM and 91.5 Play Top, both from the Unión Radio circuit in Valencia, in the state of Carabobo. In Yaracuy FM 106.3 in Nazareth, in the municipality of Nirgua.
18 October: Bahía 102.5 FM, in Cumaná, in Sucre.
19 October: Sur del Lago Stereos 91.9, Somos 95.5 and Gustosa 98.7.
20 October: 88.3 Fantástica, 99.9 Piragua and 102.9 Zulianísima. They operated in the municipality of Colón, Santa Bárbara de Zulia.
21 October: Catholic radio station Radio Paz 103.1 FM, which belonged to the diocesan curia (in the state of Portuguesa, centre of the country).

Twitter news about the eight closures for ‘expired concession’ posted the next day by the SNTP union

22 October: Villa 103.5 FM, a community station in the municipality of Gómez, in the state of Nueva Esparta, that has been operating for some 15 years.
On the same day, eight radio stations were closed in Rubio, Junín municipality, Táchira state, on orders from Conatel, on the grounds that they were not authorized:
88.3 Somos
89.9 La Nuestra
90.3 Café
92.5 Pontálida
93.1 Activación Stereo
95.7 Explosión Stereo
98.1 Esperanza Viva
102.3 Ángel

It is not easy to follow the situation even for the union, which after announcing the closure of Radio Paz on 21 October, gave further confirmation on 27 October

Six radio stations were closed on 27 October 2022 in Coro, Falcón State. In a phone call to administrators, Conatel ordered the removal of Falconiana 102.7, Corianísima 90.1, Top 97.1, Guadalupana 105.1, Fiesta 106.5, and Metrópolis 88.1.
28 October: Éxitos 99.1 FM in Valencia in the state of Carabobo. It also ordered the closure of Platinium 88.1 FM, Innovación Panamericana Stereo 98.3 FM, and Alegría 104.9 FM, in the Panamericano municipality of Táchira state. Three radio stations were closed in Ciudad Ojeda on Conatel’s instructions: Melódica 92.3 FM (one year on the air), Mágica 93.3 FM (15 years on the air), and Ke Buena 101.1 FM (6 years on the air).

SNTP flash warning of a flurry of closures in Colima

Between 20 and 27 October, eight radio stations were closed in Colina municipality, Falcón state:
91.3 Beraka
92.7 Occidente
93.9 Fredmedical
95.9 Precursora
96.9 Carubarigua
97.6 Misionera
99.1 Centinela

105.5 Tricolor

30 October 202: closed Emisora Cultural de Coro 97.5 FM (25 years on air).
(Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini)


In Venezuela, one hundred radio stations are closedby the regime
Cronica Uno devoted an extensive article to the closures, collecting some statements from the directors of the shut-down stations

The closure of “troublesome” broadcasters continues, with the usual suspension orders sent by Conatel (National Telecommunications Commission), which has been very active in recent months. The script is the same: the broadcaster is ordered to close down for failing to comply with legal procedures, says Leonardo Pérez, national secretary of the National College of Journalists in the state of Zulia, and because they have usurped space occupied by other stations that broadcast legally. But, in reality, the objections seem to be made for no apparent reason. The climate of intimidation is such that some radio stations close as soon as they receive a phone call from Conatel. There are now a hundred of them. Here is a chronicle of the last two months.

Black September

The first round of closures is announced by several newspapers. Here is the tweet from Espacio Publico, a Civil Association that promotes and defends the liberty of expression, the right to information, and social responsibility in media

On 6 September 2022, the first eleven stations between Maracaibo and San Francisco were shut down. About a hundred people are left without work, estimates by the National Press Workers’ Union (SNTP). Two days later (Thursday 8 September), two more stations have to leave the airwaves. Here is a summary of the deactivated stations:
88.3 Candela FM
88.5 Sensacional Estereo “La FM de las estressas”
91.3 Zulia Mía “La señal de los zulianos!”
92.9 Kp Radio “La gigante del Zulia!!
94.3 Refugio FM
97.3 Palabra FM
98.1 High Class “Somos la #1 en gaitas”
98.3 Destino FM
103.3 Radiolandia
102.7 Suave FM
107.7 Río Stereo
(Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini)


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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