Fair and balanced

A clarification on the @CaracasChron account

Some of you may know that, aside from editing the blog, I also handle the CC Twitter account, @CaracasChron. Aside from that, I have my own personal account,...

Fair and balanced
Fair and balanced

Some of you may know that, aside from editing the blog, I also handle the CC Twitter account, @CaracasChron. Aside from that, I have my own personal account, @juannagel.

Now, ever since Quico handed @CaracasChron privileges over to me, I have been struggling with how best to separate what I should tweet from one, and what should go out the other.

Should one be for English and one for Spanish? No, I thought, because there are followers from both languages on both accounts. Should I limit @CaracasChron tweets to the posts and nothing more? Well, that seemed like an inefficient use of the resource, given how the CC account has four times the followers that my personal one has. Should I use my account for Chile and university stuff, and leave the blog’s account for Venezuela stuff? No, that didn’t seem right either.

After two months, I still didn’t have a clear answer, so I just winged it – impulsively writing from either one or the other, but trying to keep the CC account a bit more institutional.

Tonight, I read that Henrique Capriles had characterized the TSJ decision barring unauthorized protests as typical of the “extreme right wing.” I was pretty upset about that – still am.

What is “right wing” in Venezuela really? After years of being labelled an extremist by communists, after years of trying to educate people about the benefits of the market system, after years of seeing the term “la derecha” being unfairly maligned as if it were some sort of tragic illness … do we really need to take this abuse from our own side?

Some of you may disagree, and that’s OK, but personally, I don’t consider myself as “extreme right wing.” Nevertheless, I am probably to the right of most people, something I am totally cool about, so I took this sleight pretty personally. I find Capriles’ position extremely insulting – divisive, uninformed, even Orwellian in nature.

Capriles’ tenure as “leader of the opposition” is tenous at best. Someone in his position can hardly afford to demonize the portion of his supporters that view the world from the right. I’ve seen Capriles alienate right-leaning people on his trips abroad, and it’s an incredibly clumsy thing to be doing. He loves to label himself as a “progressive,” and that’s his privilege, but he seems to want to prove his leftie chops … by bashing the right. Capriles comes from a political party that is hardly left wing – and I should know, given how I helped write the platform! The whole thing is amateurish.

In light of this, I took to Twitter to criticize Capriles using the CC account, and that did not sit well with some of my friends. My tweets caused quite a stir among my fellow co-bloggers. Some members of the team are very much pro-Capriles. Others, not so much. Me? I considered myself a recovering cheerleader, a hesitant Capriles supporter until tonight. As you can see, we have variety, and that is a good thing. Now, a portion of my co-bloggers are incensed, and they are correct.

So, in the spirit of maintaing peaceful coexistence, I will say that I regret what I tweeted because it offended people I admire and respect – my colleagues, not Capriles, who had it coming. From now on, I will limit the @CaracasChron tweets to publicizing our posts or publicizing other peoples’. All personal opinions will come from my personal account.

You can go back to your weekends now. Stay safe.