Venezuela ranked first among nations with the least free Internet in the region, according to the annual report of the organization Freedom House published on Wednesday.
In the ranking, Venezuela appears just above countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, the Philippines and Egypt.
Venezuela is the country in the world that experienced the greatest decrease in freedom on the net in the last five years, of 12 points in 2020, compared to the figures of 2016.
The text states that authorities from dozens of countries have cited COVID-19 “to justify the expansion of surveillance powers and the deployment of new technologies that were once considered too intrusive.”
As the report describes, governments are using so-called cyber-sovereignty to exercise control over the Internet within their own borders.
Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship has used the net to sabotage the opposition, attack the media and harass those who do not share its ideals. In many cases people who are violated through the Internet end up unemployed, detained and physically assaulted.
In its report, the organization Freedom House qualifies and studies freedom on the net in 65 countries around the world, taking into account obstacles to accessing the net, limits on content and violations of users’ rights.