The majority of Venezuela was left without internet or electricity during a blackout this last week. With telecommunication systems shut down, Venezuela’s residents have had trouble contacting their loved ones within the country and overseas.
Read on to learn about Venezuela’s blackout and find out how you can stay in contact with friends and family when there’s no internet or electricity.
Background on Venezuela’s Blackout
Venezuela has been in an economic recession since 2010, and residents have been suffering from lack of food and medical supplies since 2015. The recent political crisis began in January 2019, when Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for another 6-year term as the nation’s president. Outraged, crowds of protesters have taken to the streets to demand Maduro’s resignation.
The nation’s power supply was shut off on March 7, leaving people in the dark for a full week. Although the lights are slowly coming back on, the blackout has had a devastating impact on Venezuela’s residents. Hospitals without power or working equipment were unable to help patients, which led to several preventable deaths.
With increasing political tensions, Venezuela’s government has escalated internet censorship and online surveillance of its citizens. Netblogs.org, an internet shutdown observatory, reported that the country’s main telecom provider 12Ene has blocked all editions of Wikipedia. Additionally, the government has blocked social media networks such as Youtube, Twitter
Pinngle: A Way to Stay in Touch in Times of Crisis
Outages can happen anywhere for a variety of reasons – from a political crisis or natural disaster, to a poor electrical infrastructure. It’s important to be prepared in case an outage affects you. This includes having a plan for contacting your loved ones in case you have limited access to the internet or landline phones. This is where Pinngle can step in to save the day.
Pinngle is a free messaging app that allows users to message each other and connect through voice and video calls. It also has several useful functions that can help in times of crisis.
Here are a few of the features that make Pinngle a powerful app for countries in crisis, such as Venezuela:
Pinngle has a callback feature for making calls without internet
If you need to call someone but neither of you have internet access, Pinngle can connect you through its callback feature. Some things you should know about using this feature are:
- The person making the call has to have Pinngle installed and activated on their phone
- The person making the call needs to have funds saved on their Pinngle account prior to making the call (and you’ll need to have internet access when adding funds
Pinngle works well on super slow connections
Pinngle is faster and smoother than other apps when it’s connected to slow 2G network or an overloaded Wi-Fi hotspot. This is because the app is optimized to use minimal data and bandwidth.
Pinngle is private and unblockable
Pinngle has a special feature, shutdown resistance, which means it can’t be blocked by any country’s governments. To add to that, Pinngle has end-to-end data encryption and a serverless architecture. These features protect user data so that you can talk freely without worrying about any third parties accessing your information. (In fact, even Pinngle can’t read your chats).
Stay safe, stay prepared
They say to always prepare for the worst, and it’s true. Make sure you’re ready in case an emergency affects you. Set aside food, water, safety supplies, and make a plan with your loved ones for how you will communicate.
One easy option is to have everyone download Pinngle, and if you plan to use the callback feature, make sure to add some funds to your account.
China has offered to help Venezuela’s president, but Pinngle is offering to help Venezuela’s people by helping them stay connected.
Cheers, from the Pinngle team.