Caracas, Venezuela.- The highest court in Venezuela ordered this Friday the “immediate” taking of goods and equipment in the country from the subscription platform DirecTV, owned by the US firm AT&T, after it ceased operations due to sanctions from the United States.
A ruling of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) ordered the state National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) “to take immediate possession of all movable and immovable property, commercial offices, administrative offices, operations and transmission center, antennas and any other equipment or installation intended to provide the subscription service “of DirecTV.
“For this, Conatel will have the assistance of the Armed Forces,” the TSJ announced in a statement.
Military of the National Guard occupied the main headquarters of DirecTV in Caracas, found an . team. Some twenty officers guarded the entrance to these facilities at noon.
The TSJ also instructed the designation of an “ad-hoc administrative board” of the company Galaxy Entertainment de Venezuela SCA (DirecTV Venezuela) with “the widest powers” in order to “guarantee the immediate restoration of services” and “the labor rights of all workers”.
It also issued a prohibition on leaving the country, as well as recording and transferring assets against the current managers.
The court admitted an appeal filed by the government on Wednesday, the day after AT&T announced the cease of operations of DirecTV in the Caribbean country. The action demanded the restitution of the suspended service.
The Dallas, Texas-based company explained that Washington’s financial sanctions prohibit the broadcast of the private television station Globovisión and the channel of the state-owned Petróleos de enezuela, PDVSA TV.
The transmission of both channels, according to the company, was required by the license granted by the socialist government to provide pay television service in Venezuela.
DirecTV Venezuela workers reported layoffs.
The shutdown cut a key source of entertainment for millions of Venezuelans trapped in their homes quarantined by the coronavirus.
DirecTV covered 45.32% of the subscription television market in Venezuela, according to official figures, and the cessation of its operations affects some 6.5 million people in this country of 30 million inhabitants.
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