Please, oh master, throw us a bone


So far, I’ve avoided discussing Hugo Chávez’s Twitter account. But let’s face it – the thing is downright depressing.

Chávez’s last tweets were on November 1st, and they dealt with Cristina Kirchner and Dilma Rousseff.

Fact is, the guy doesn’t really use Twitter that much. Still, it doesn’t prevent hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans to use it as a means of (hopelessly) trying to communicate with their leader, asking for some sort of help. Clearly, foreign policy is much more important than those pesky peasants asking for stuff.

Here’s a sample of recent tweets:

Adrian Francisconi, an Argentine national who was fired from Sidor, asking for a visa and to be rehired. He claims he has been contacted 15 times by the government, but every time all they do is ask for his personal information.

Laura Mujica, asking – no, begging – for work.

kiruajo asking for land, or something.

Imara Gonzalez, a nurse, complaining about her meager wages and asking for a raise.

Osvaldo del Campo, who asked for a house three months ago and complains he has not heard back.

And this is just from a real-time search! Try it for yourself

Sure, a lot of the tweets are from people wanting to insult the guy. But the overwhelming majority of them are from regular folks – ones who still believe in the Revolution – asking, and asking, and asking yet again for a favor.

I don’t know what’s sadder – that our institutions are so decadent that people go to Twitter to ask for help in solving their problems … or that they are gullible enough to think someone is listening.

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  1. “No one “normal” supports the revolution anymore, right JC?”

    If by revolution you mean the so-called bolivarian revolution of Chavez, you are absolutely correct.

  2. I usually buy Ultimas Noticias a few times a week to read on the camionetta and metro and the same thing in the “date ahi” part where they send text messages asking for help or reporting that some bureaucracy department isn’t helping them or that they haven’t been paid wages/pensions etc in months.

    There’s a little tragedy in every one, especially since the bourgeois rojos in power will continue to ignore them and continue to make themselves wealthy.

  3. I have been myself tempted to write about it since the time @chavezcandanga was opened.

    C’est la court des miracles…

    So sad to have a country where people can only get services if they address the President. So sad to have so much unemployment. So sad to have a problem where people have to ask “favors” to get serious healthcare, specialized medicines or surgeries.

  4. Can we ban MoronSinCaracas from CC? Puhleasee? He is taking all the space for debate to talk nonsense and lead the debate to nowhere. It is not only in this post, but everything the last week.

    Now the only Moron of this blog is attacking JC for simply saying that Chavez is not responding to any of the tweets that people send him… after all he even created a “Mission Tweeter” that has turned into a lot of bragging and no actions, like always. Nobody mentioned anything that it is bad to have alternative ways to communicate with the president, the post mostly deals on how Chavez is not using Tweeter, and how it is sad to see people still believing in the guy even virtually.

    • When people are banned for such things, you might as well take out comments, and start printing propaganda like some of the Chavez sites.

      He is debating that Tweeter is not a bad thing, and this is not unheard off. I tend to agree. His other statements in other topics are off in my opinion, but this is on point. You can’t expect him to respond to this stuff. And it doesn’t matter if he hardly sends things on it, opening it up is a good thing.

  5. Do you remember why “Alo, Presidente” was called that way to begin with?

    Do you know why the name doesn’t suit it anymore?

    Same with the twitter account. Chavez is pretty good at pretending he cares about the people, but pretty lousy at actually caring about them.

  6. Fernando – Banning Moronsincaracas would be censorship no? I think he/she makes some interesting points. I don’t agree with them but it is always useful to hear the opposing view.

    Moronsincarcas – the proof of lack of action is the fact that Osvaldo & Adrian are making repeat requests whilst there has been no government announcement on nurses wages (Imara’s request). It’s not very scientific but in the face of very little information from the government about what requests they are fulfilling it is hard not to draw a negative conclusion. Or correct us, how many Twitter requests has the government fulfilled & what is the evidence for this?

    • It’s a private website. We’re all here at the pleasure/mercy of the owners. Banning idiots would be no different than kicking a belligerent drunk out of a bar.

      Idiots are still free to go spew their idiocy elsewhere, or even to start their own blogs, just as the aforementioned drunken idiot would be free to drink elsewhere, or drink at home.

      It’s not censorship, it’s owner’s prerogative.

  7. Chris (Moron…whatever)

    So, you don’t see anything wrong with thousands and thousands of people pathetically begging their “Comandante” for help and believing that he is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, if only he would just hear them. You really don’t see the idolatry and willful blindness of these brainwashed peasants? And you don’t see anything wrong in that at all!!??

    Wow! You really are one sick puppy!

  8. Quality control in a blog is not censorship, except insofar as Mr. Moron has a right to impose himself on YOUR audience. Generally, no one is obliged to post EVERY letter to the Editor, only those of value to the audience. Since he has every right–still!–to create his own blog, and attract the millions to read his views, Mr. Moron should do so.

    The Twitter phenomenon of begging the leader for favours simply emphasizes what we all know: there are no regular channels for obtaining relief; everything proceeds from The Center.

  9. Yep, No different from what I saw as a kid during Luis Herrera Campins’s period, and could have heard before probably.

    “Oiga Sr. Presidente”, “Luis Herrera arregla esto”

    Together with the urinals (and ghost, incomplete urinals at that) inaugurations, we are pretty much done for.

    Carlos Andres, Luis Herrera, Hugo Chavez… they can be put into the same bin, and the lid be sealed, for charity’s sake!

    I suppose old fashioned populism is all that Socialism in Venezuela, the “system of the future” wanted to be.

    There’s a real difference, though. Provided by the people who LEAD REAL REVOLUTIONS (the ones I accused Guido of trying to accomplish).

    Twitter. Other than that, same old. A fake leading a fake Revolution.

  10. Are there any examples of any presidents in the world who answer questions on Twitter? Obama certainly doesn’t do it.

    Chavez’s engagement with the public must always be a carefully scripted show – and that’s precisely the opposite of Twitter.

    BTW, when is CC gonna catch up? Haven’t seen tweets since Oct.

    • James,
      Quico has been dealing with personal issues for a while, and regardless, he’s not a huge fan of Twitter. Having said that, he should be back soon.

      But you’re welcome to follow me, I’m on the thing all the time. It’s @juannagel.

  11. Just wanted to clarify one thing: I’m not criticizing Chavez for having a Twitter account. I’m simply reflecting on how depressive it is, what it says about our institutional decay, and what it says about how people relate to their leaders.

    Let’s not debate straw men.

  12. What makes me laugh if tha he still says that they are majority “Thanks Kolya, for validating your fascist views about the majority of Venezuelans.”… Sure, believe that.
    He also says repeats “Like any government on the planet would be capable of addressing everyone’s requests” as a justification for people beggin for favors from the leader. No, you are right, because not many goverments on the planet make their followers believe that they are some sort of Mesiah that will solve everything, and even less make them believe that only one man will be able to do so. There are a few, all dictatorships by the way.
    I like when they dare come to a serious forum like this and try to act as if they have arguments, when you see how weak their ideas are and how they inevitably have to retort to the “fascist” type adjectives then you know they really have nothing rational to add to the argument.

    • “Parliamentary elections are never good indicators of overall support for a political project.”

      Not true. This election was about Chavez and his project. He said it himself, on numerous occasions. Chavez is a minority, accept it.

  13. Moron:
    A very fundamental difference between the EVIL EMPIRE and Chavezlandia is that in the EE all politics is local (most basic problems and legal issues get solved there) and move up to the national level and get attention when they become great enough to warrant attention. With Chavez totally centralized government all political and legal decisions trickle down, based on his Sunday rantings.

    • Exaaactly!

      With a government worthy of the name, EVEN A SOCIALIST ONE, the citizen need not complain or make desperate appeals to the President of the Republic. Particularly a Socialist one, if you believe their propaganda.

      Some instance or other would be able to heed the person’s complaint. If not the national government per se, then local government, then other agencies and even NGOs, even spontaneous reactions and grassroots movements. They say that Socialism should be big on grassroots movements… But in reality, bah!

      I hope the irony is appreciated that this would-be Socialism that purports to be everything for everyone is quite unable to tackle the most DESPERATE needs in any organized manner, and also makes people unable to help themselves.

      And this huge FAKE, this carnival mask that wants most to be a President-for-Life or rather King (of a Sub-saharan state Socialist only in misname, I hazard), seems to revel in such abjection, as well as on the effective non-existence of the government he leads that allows him to give out the Kingly Touch to the Serfs.

  14. While I certainly don’t think Morons is correct about a majority supporting Chavez, to critisize this seems meaningless and petty. In Canada, like many other countries, you can write your President. He doesn’t respond. You can write others you’ve voted for, or haven’t voted for, they sometimes answer.

    It doesn’t mean it is useless.

    These critisizms are useless, there are serious problems in the country, this is not one of them. I’m far more inclined to read devil’s excriment, and Keplar’s blog then this.

    You mean there are some people asking for rediculas things off their goverment, that aint new. People out of work asking for jobs, I bet Obama as those and he isn’t responding. A goverment employee complaining about low wages, I don’t need to direct you to countries that have goverment workers having the same complaint.

    There is far worse happening in this country, the mismanagement of petrodollars. The outright corruption of Chavez’ family and party members. Judjes saying they will make sure people will go to prison before hearing the case. How a party could loss by 6 percent and still get well 20% over the a coallition.

    This is just garbage and while Morons makes many claims that are suspect, such as a goverment that has a majority at this time, one can’t deny how invalid this artical is. So chavez makes promises he can’t complete, read my lips, which president doesn’t.

    • But it is important!

      It speaks a full Encyclopaedia about the organization of the present government.

      It speaks a full Encyclopaedia about the attitude of the President regarding his post and powers.

      It speaks a full Encyclopaedia about the expectations and political sophistication of Venezuelans.

      We seem not to have matured, in any significative way, from the days when Paez was President. It seems we never left Feudalism.

      This guy behaves like another “Taita” and the people accept it. Sheesh they deserve to have government failure on the face, both barrels.

  15. The following appeared in the Nov. 10 issue of VenEconomy Weekly:

    Twitter fraud: reports that President Chávez and Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami “cheat”, using computer generated tweets to create the impression that they have huge followings, when the truth is something else again.


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