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The Taking of Cota Nine-Zero-Five

The Cota 905 area in western Caracas is a “peace zone” no more. Authorities launched a large-scale operation earlier today, including lots of National Police agents, National Guard soldiers and armored vehicles and SWAT teams from both the Criminal Investigations Police (CICPC) and the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN). The raid is part of the larger “People’s…

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CONATEL Blues

The 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…

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Se llamaba CONATEL

Between August and October of last year, eight Twitter users were detained by the Venezuelan intelligence service (SEBIN). To this day, five remain jailed in the Helicoide. Four have plead guilty to minor charges in exchange for lesser sentences and were pressured to change their defense lawyers (from NGO Foro Penal) for public defenders. But how…