(Merida 10/22/2020).- On October 31, the deadline to pay the Internet Address Registry of Latin America and the Caribbean, LACNIC (by its acronym in Spanish), for the use during 2019 of the IP addresses available to host academic web servers and scientific dissemination in Venezuela. Even before the exchange control implemented in Venezuela since 2005, this payment was made directly by each university and scientific research institute in the country, through the Academic Network of Research Centers and National Universities (REACCIUN, by its acronym in Spanish). However, for more than a decade the National Center for Information Technologies (CNTI, by its acronym in Spanish), attached to the Ministry of Popular Power for University Education, Science and Technology (Mppeuct, by its acronym in Spanish), has been the entity in charge of managing this process, which not only It constitutes an act that reduces autonomy and independence to universities and institutions, but rather their web visibility has been at risk due to the repeated delinquency of the regime with LACNIC.
“The non-payment to LACNIC by the Ministry of University Education, Science and Technology would leave the country’s scientific and academic portals without IP addresses, and therefore invisible to the world, among which, for example, the Institute Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC, by its acronym in Spanish), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICIT, by its acronym in Spanish), Fundacite, in addition to all the autonomous Venezuelan universities ”, reviewed a press release from the University of Los Andes (ULA) on October 16.
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Although on October 21 the CNTI informed LACNIC that they are in the process of paying the pending invoice, corresponding to 2019, this delinquency situation is not new. In 2018, the de facto regime also delayed payment, which must be made every two years, and finally made it just two hours after the deadline, according to Leonardo González, director of the Telecommunications and Services Directorate of the University of Los Andes (DTES-ULA, by its acronym in Spanish), to the ULA press.
LACNIC is an international non-governmental organization whose function is the assignment and administration of Internet numbering resources (IPv4, IPv6), Autonomous Numbers and Reverse Resolution for the Latin American and Caribbean region. The annual cost of the IP addresses provided by LACNIC to the ULA is barely $ 300, due to the discount given to academic institutions that have had a contract with LACNIC since its inception. That meager payment could not be made with its budget by the ULA, since it does not have that money due to the budget suffocation that the regime maintains against the autonomous universities. The salary of a teacher with a doctorate, full time and the highest level (Titular) is less than 6 dollars a month.
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Violation of the human right to science
The Observatory of Human Rights of the University of Los Andes (ODH-ULA, by its acronym in Spanish) denounces that by taking away the autonomy of payment to academic and scientific institutions, and putting at risk access to their web servers due to late payment, the Facto commits violations of educational, university, digital rights and the human right to science, enshrined in different international treaties.
The right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications is an important part of article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which entered into force in 1976 and which Venezuela signed and ratified.
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Likewise, the Venice Declaration approved in 2009 establishes the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, also enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, approved by the United Nations Educational Organization, the Science and Culture (UNESCO) in 2005, and included in the Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers, approved by UNESCO in 2017, and in the report of the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, published in 2012.
In the recent report (Spanish version) The Decline of Scientific Research in Venezuela. COVID-19 and humanitarian emergency, the ODH-ULA exposes the progressive deterioration of the scientific and technological capacities of the country as a result of a State policy sustained for more than two decades to suffocate, subdue and undermine university education and the scientific production of the country.