Venezuelan authorities on Friday detained three people from the administration of Directv, the country's main cable television operator, which on 19 May abruptly suspended services, affecting 10 million people.
Before turning himself in to the authorities, company administrator Carlos Villamizar told TV Venezuela News that they are innocent, that the suspension was a decision by AT&T, the owner of Directv.
“I was only five years at the company (…) On May 19, we were notified that we were fired and that operations in Venezuela would cease. It was a big surprise, ”he said, insisting that he was just an employee.
On the other hand, in statements to journalists, the lawyer Jesus Loreto explained that the three, Carlos Villamizar, Héctor Rivero and Rodolfo Carrano, “voluntarily surrendered” to SEBIN (information services).
“They are victims of the situation and the regime knows that. We have provided detailed information on everything that happened on the day of the cessation of operations, ”he said, adding that they are being held in El Helicoide, a controversial jail in Caracas.
On May 19, more than 2.5 million Venezuelan families were left without Directv's satellite television service, due to a decision by the American AT&T to suspend this type of service in Venezuela.
The decision, according to AT&T, is related to the imposition of sanctions by the United States against the Venezuelan Government and the fulfillment of the local operating license, which requires the channels sanctioned by Washington, Globovisión and Pdvsa.
The suspension, which affects at least ten million people, took Venezuelans by surprise and the Portuguese residing in the country were deprived of the international broadcast of the Portuguese public channel RTPi.
On 22 May, the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela ordered the immediate occupation of all movable and immovable property, the operations and transmission center of the company Directv and the return of the subscription television service.
On the other hand, it prohibited the Directv administration from leaving the country.
The STJ's measures extend “to all pay-TV operators that prematurely suspend the provision of their services”.
Directv's service remains suspended in Venezuela.
The Dallas, Texas-based company said the departure of its Venezuelan television platform, Directv, was to comply with the requirements of economic sanctions imposed by the White House against the Maduro regime, to which the United States does not recognize legitimacy. policy.
AT&T, owner of Directv, is the largest company in the pay television market in Venezuela and was one of the last major North American companies to remain in operation in the Latin American country.
In recent years, she was pressured by Washington, who accused her of complying with directives from the government of Nicolás Maduro, namely, giving in to the requirement to withdraw about ten channels, including the one from the CNN news station, in the Spanish version.
On May 30, President Nicolás Maduro, welcomed the suspension of Directv services and promised Venezuelans the best and most sophisticated television systems in the country.
"They wanted to harm us by taking Directv by order of the US Government and they did us good, because now Venezuelan cable operators are going to develop and expand," he said, in an intervention transmitted simultaneously and in a manner mandatory for radio and television in the country.