Bad news for Adobe customers in Venezuela: The maker of Photoshop is canceling subscriptions for all users in the country, citing a US sanction order against the Maduro regime made back in August.
According to Adobe, the US’s sanction order “prohibits almost all transactions and services between US companies, entities and individuals” in the country. “To remain complaint with this order, Adobe is deactivating all accounts in Venezuela,” the company said in a support document published on Monday.
The company is also refusing to offer customer refunds, pointing to the sanction order. Access to free products is being pulled as well. “Adobe will no longer provide access to software and services, including free ones, or enable you to make any new purchases. We apologize for the inconvenience,” the support document adds.
The only good news is that Venezuelan users will have until Oct. 28 to download any content they saved over their Adobe accounts before the company deactivates them.
In August, the Trump administration issued the sanction order against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for allegedly usurping the presidency and perpetrating human rights abuses against the country’s citizens. The order is designed to block US companies from conducting business both directly —and indirectly— with the Maduro regime, which may explain why Adobe has decided to cancel all subscriptions in the country.
Incredibly counterproductive. Citing US sanctions, @Adobe says it is “deactivating all accounts in #Venezuela.” Any civil society NGO or independent media outlet that relies on registered copies of Photoshop, InDesign or Acrobat will be impacted. https://t.co/WqRRQ2yVKP pic.twitter.com/58XDNJIKdz
— Geoff Ramsey (@GRamsey_LatAm) October 7, 2019
The ban is already sparking complaints from Adobe customers in the country, who’ve been receiving company emails about the upcoming cancellation. It also doesn’t help that Adobe has moved to a subscription-only, cloud model for the latest versions of its products. As a result, you can’t buy the company’s major software off a store shelf.
More ripple effects from US deadly sanctions. Adobe customers in Venezuela have been informed that they can no longer access their accounts and Adobe software pic.twitter.com/G21BeWgWxI
— venezuelanalysis.com (@venanalysis) October 7, 2019
Adobe didn’t immediately respond to questions concerning the order and why it was issued now. But the company’s customer service Twitter account has been fielding the complaints. If a user based outside Venezuela has been wrongly flagged, Adobe is advising users to check and change the country address listed on their account.
“Executive Order 13884 was issued with no expiration date —the decision to rescind it rests solely with the US Government,” Adobe added in today’s support document. “We will continue to monitor developments closely and will make every effort to restore services to Venezuela as soon as it is legally permissible to do so.”
Whether other tech companies will or have already embarked on similar bans for Venezuela is unclear. But in July, Microsoft’s GitHub limited access for users based in Syria, Cuba, Crimea and Iran, citing a seperate US sanction order.
To circumvent the ban, Venezuelan customers may have to consider using a VPN service, which can let them access the internet from servers outside their home country. But many users will likely resort to piracy.