Blocked: Adobe's impending exit from Venezuela puts the work of thousands of professionals at risk
The company will suspend its services in the country on Oct. 28 following the U.S. sanctions against the Maduro regime, and many are asking themselves: Who will be next?
They can't access their accounts or buy Adobe products, much less get their money back. This is the reality with which Venezuelan photographers, designers, and artists who regularly use the company's programs had to come to grips with yesterday, 90% of whom work for foreign clients.
"It was a pretty drastic note, almost giving us twenty days of 'grace' to seek life elsewhere. They are blocking our work, and we are alarmed and trying to think of solutions," says Moisés Pérez Pro, who has been working in graphic design for ten years and uses tools such as Behance on a daily basis.
"Many colleagues are saying that a temporary solution could be to create a foreign DNN [VPN] to continue buying products and block updates, but we are baffled," he adds.
For Asael Pinto, who has been working for six years as a designer and video editor for a marketing agency with clients in the United States, Chile, Spain, Argentina or Ecuador, Adobe's decision will make it increasingly difficult to be competitive in the market once you can't update existing programs.
"When we suffered the Facebook Ads blockade, our agency's alternative was to hire personnel in the U.S., which makes the service more expensive," Pinto says. "I think it is a measure of pressure and the Venezuelan regime will not give in, but everyone must take responsibility, and that is what we have done with our agency."
Under the Orwellian name of Executive Order 13884, the U.S. regulations that have forced Adobe to stop providing its services don't properly punish the Maduro government but, like the rest of the sanctions, Venezuelan citizens, since it expressly prohibits any transaction with the country.
And while Adobe informs in its statement that it is still looking for solutions, companies and self-employed workers feel like characters from an Agatha Christie novel, thinking which company will be next to fall, when companies like Pay-pal, Transwise or Verizon already did.
However, Moisés Pérez recalls: "It is a blow to us, but the country is experiencing more serious situations and has turned a blind eye."