Venezuela: Chavez equates Twitter with terrorism

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50 Responses to “Venezuela: Chavez equates Twitter with terrorism”

  1. Anonymous says:

    @stupidjerk

    Actually, Chavez himself ran an attempted coup back in 1991, a long time before he was elected as chief executive. I guess attempting a coup isn’t political suicide in Venezuela; it’s a longstanding tradition, after all.

  2. axl456 says:

    @antinous: “zimbabwification of Venezuela”

    let me ask you a question, are you from venezuela?

    it always makes me laught how great sites like this (cuz actually I love bb) makes the great mistake of believing anything bad of chavez and vzla they read..

    cmon, you are smarter than that dont you?, you now that “on the internet nobody knows you’re a dog”, so dont believe everything you read..

    you want facts?

    on 1996 the inflation on vzla went up to 99.9% (you can chech that on the International monetary found online http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm), and the past 40 years before chavez was all the same. the poor gets more poor, and the rich gets more rich..

    I wont deny that chavez is fucking with the rich ppl, but you know what? fuck them!..

    I have to many friends and family in bad conditions to worry about the crying rich elite..

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      So, axl456, are you denying that Venezuela, one of the biggest oil producers in the world, is currently suffering regular electrical outages? Is that just fascist propaganda that I’ve swallowed? Are all the news outlets that are reporting that fact just tools for the US? How about the devaluation of the currency with mandatory price controls? And the seizure of business that can’t comply without going under? How about closing down multiple media outlets? Is that all just a fantasy?

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a venezuelan and a citizen of Caracas I can assure everyone here that he WILL regulate the internet and he WILL continue to tie down every sign of freedom that exists in this country. Things are pretty hard here.

    Our only hope is that there are elections of the National Assembly diputees next september. An Assembly that is now 90% PSUV diputees (United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the Chavez-made party).

    It needs to be reminded that less than a month ago Chavez closed down (again) one TV Station and a couple of months ago he closed down 34 radio stations, all of them for being critical of his “revolution”.

    This man knows no limits…

  4. DavidBrookbank says:

    Very interesting information indeed. Thanks, BoingBoing. Just a few additional thoughts to add to the mix: 1) If Chavez were interested in censorship of the web, he should do as the Chinese did and simple sign agreements with freedom loving U.S. mega-corporations like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo who filtered and censored on the behalf of the Chinese. 2) The involvement of the CIA in social media like Twitter, Facebook, etc., is common knowledge, as discussed in articles like “CIA invests in social media monitoring” at Mashable; reports, suits, and freedom of information court filings like those by Electronic Freedom Foundation spell out in more detail the concerns for freedoms in the U.S.; and the extent of CIA involvement is laid out in other articles like Wired Magazine’s on the CIA’s investment and technology arm In-Q-Tel which has invested in Visible Technologies, a company providing social media monitoring software to Microsoft and others. 3) U.S. intervention in Venezuela (as well as Bolivia, Ecuador, and several other countries in South and Central America) is well documented and includes the direct involvement of the U.S. Embassy, USAID, the CIA, and other U.S. government agencies, not to mention U.S. government funded firms, foundations and NGOs, all of which is well documented by U.S.-Venezuelan attorney Eva Gollinger and CIA defector Phillip Agee’s 2005 analysis of four USAID contracts with Republican and Democratic Party foundations in Venezuela, among many other sources. 4) As with any discussion of Cuba and its difficulties, much is exaggerated including the internet issue, as pointed out by Salim Lamrani and many others, who note that western darling and probable U.S. intelligence assett Yoani Sanchez has a very slick and sophisticated blogging operation out of Cuba, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Cubans, like my friends here in Spokane, who are in regular if not daily e-mail and chat contact with friends and family in Cuba (between multiple trips back and forth from the “communist hell hole” that they had just “fled” as “political refugees”!)

  5. stupidjerk says:

    Ugh. In 1998, as a young pinko, I thought that this guy was going to be interesting, maybe even positive, but I was never so silly to view him as the GREAT HOPE OF THE LEFT…that would be idiotic. Well, he’s certainly interesting, but this isn’t positive, the man is losing it. This entire situation will end poorly. I wonder if the constant coups that the US attempts over there contributed to his growing paranoia and despotism…

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m still a pinko. But, Chavez is a lunatic and an alien.

    • Anonymous says:

      It may be that the “constant coups that the U.S. attempt” may be efforts to rid South America of would be tyrants?? Surely would like to see this clown go……coup or otherwise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Uhm I live in Venezuela and I have no idea what “coups by the US” you are referring to. Pretty much all of the celebrities and ex-presidents like Carter that have come down here have always been on Chavez’s side. The US has had no involvement here whatsoever, it is the Venezuelan Opposition that has been marching and trying to change things, but there has only been one “coup” if you can call it that, and that was in 2001 I think. So I think you are misinformed.

    • Anonymous says:

      “I wonder if the constant coups that the US attempts over there contributed to his growing paranoia and despotism…”

      Somehow I knew you would end up blaming the US. Couldn’t be that the man is a totalitarian loony, it must be our fault somehow.

      Utopia falling down around you, quick blame somebody.

  6. Nash Rambler says:

    Look, I think it’s time we used our tectonic weapon and level Venezuela. I mean, uh, let’s tweet about this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So stupid it`s funny.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t this Chavez Character just the “Cat’s Pajamas”???

    If he had a reality show, I wonder what it would be called?

  9. GuidoDavid says:

    “Particularly the reports that come from the people who used to run this country ”

    Can you prove this? 45% of Venezuelans lived like Europeans? Citation needed.


    While we are on the subject of Merida (Guidodavid) lets talk about how the opposition thugs shot and killed a “Chavista” protestor and then lets see how that was reported around the world? (what a surprise it wasn’t..) Oh and as for the riots being about power-cuts, the only power cuts they were protesting about was the loss of power that the rich and old political elite have suffered since the fair and completely democratic elections.”

    Why don’t you mention that the other dead student was a member from an opposition party? And you have the balls to complain about biased reports? And you are simply _lying_ about the power cuts only affecting rich people or that people were not protesting about the power cuts. There are articles from Venezuelan newspapers in Spanish on the Internet about this, you are not fooling anyone.

    “I am from the UK and I have been talking with many ordinary people, the vast majority of Venezuelans support Chavez and even the people who have their reservations about him have had to admit that he has provided education, health-care and hope for all and this has to be respected”

    You have lied before, you might be lying about this. Barrio Adentro modules are being shut down, as Chávez himself has admitted.

    “My government has gone to war without asking me, provided a leader (Gordon Brown) that was never elected, provided Hundreds of Billions of Pounds for Banks and cuts funding for Arts, Music, Health-Care & Welfare, Allows MP’s to claim outrageous expenses while the rest of the people in the country suffer repossessions and rampant unemployment.”

    So, you have to fall in love with a crazy tyrant who babbles leftist words while exports oil to the US, and has lower taxes for the rich than Bush did? Non sequitur.

    “All countries have problems and no political leader is perfect (look at Gordon Brown for crying out loud), but lets not turn Chavez and what he and his government have done into some kind of joke”

    We do not have to do it, he is doing it by himself.

    “nd for the record Twitter is terrorism, particularly when its Richard Madeley at the helm”

    Twitter is terrorism, Carlos the Jackal is not. What a tool

  10. GuidoDavid says:

    “The only voices that reach us from Venezuela thru the web are those of the richest minority”

    Says who? I am not rich, not even close to. Many of us are not rich, there are plenty of cybercafés, and people use them. Even if that’d be true, care to watch the news. Did you see what happened in Mérida, where I live, a week ago?
    People got pissed and fed, and some very serious riots ensued, due to random power cuts. I wrote about the cuts some time ago:

    http://www.caracaschronicles.com/node/2263

    So, is Mérida populated by rich people only? If the govt cares about people, why was it necessary to burn the town in order to have a rational power outage schedule?

    Because for the govt:
    “Social issues in Venezuela: overlooked.
    Poverty issues in Venezuela: overlooked”

    Gollinger? What a damn tool. Plenty of conflict of interest. At least, I am not making money out of my opposition to the govt.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Every once in awhile, you wonder whether he’s as bad as the Republicans say he is. Stuff like this provides the answer: yes.

  12. DanRuth says:

    PBS (I think FrontLine??) has a great documentary on the Hugo Chavez Show. As great as some of his programs may sound (and, to some extent, work), he is clearly more interested in the image that is Hugo Chavez than he is in actually creating positive change.

    ANYONE who disagrees with Chavez is quickly and publicly ostracized. It’s ugly.

  13. hbl says:

    Twerrorism? Time for those dudes to finish up Paranoid Linux.

  14. quinchoncho says:

    Wait, when did he said something about censoring the net?

    He did said the tweeter posts should be considered terrorist attacks, and said anonymous posters were cowards and probably paid by the CIA or something, and in any other country if the president says something like that it’s supposed to be taken seriously..but this is chavez.

    While I don’t think the internet is compatible with his idea of socialism, he is nowhere near censoring the web…yet.

    It was a pretty idiotic comment of his, and we should be making fun of him for doing so (as always), but the page linked here shouldn’t don’t go around implying he’s ordered to build a firewall or anything without an actual quote.

    …At least as far as I know

  15. slgalt says:

    Westboro church must be so proud.

  16. zikzak says:

    It’s heartwarming to see Chavez and the US government finally agreeing on something.

    anti-authoritarians unite!

  17. loroferoz says:

    Life is quite complex and maybe some people feel that we should not be too hasty in judgement.

    That said, in some situations, there are criteria to decide quickly and easily on a political movement or a person.

    In this example, you have a person, a government and a party that proponents and allies claim to be democratic, and even respectful of civil liberties. Whether they are or not, can be answered simply:

    How well do dissent, protest and anonymous opinions sit with the guy/group?

    Answer: Not well at all, in the case of Hugo Chavez. No matter that he is maybe not able yet to restrict access to Twitter in Venezuela…

    Mighty Chavez has struck out with this one. One for RCTV TV station, two for the radio stations and circuits closed, three for Twitter and stadium protests.

    The guy cannot be held to be a democrat in any meaningful way.

  18. Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous #3: It was Frontline. And you can watch it here http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hugochavez/

    @Anonymous #2: He *does* have a reality show — an afternoon on state television every week, and that doesn’t include the rest of the week on several channels that his office directly controls. Watch the Frontline report linked above.

  19. ValuedRug says:

    Ugh, just not in the mood today. What a tool.

  20. cymk says:

    Internet censorship in Venezuela? Have fun with that Mr. Chavez; if China can’t successfully censor the internet, neither can you.

  21. loroferoz says:

    “Terrorism” and “terrorist attack” refer to acts that are not merely crimes, additionally, there is intent of causing fear, terror and dismay. You would expect a person making such accusations to take action against “terrorists” to the utmost degree allowed by his/her office.

    If we took Hugo Chavez seriously, we could ask ourselves if he is up to commit some gross violation of the civil rights of dissenters, or is just showing gross intolerance. Given the degree of control over Venezuelan institutions that he has, there would not be much difference either.

    In a country with independent institutions that guarantee civil rights and limited government such expressions, particularly if recurrent would constitute grounds for judicial action or a review of his sanity/fitness for office.

    Whether it is impossible for him to censor the net (or not) is immaterial. Either
    a)he will try and punish whoever the State can catch and indict.
    b)he is a prevaricating demagogue trying to intimidate on an excuse that is false.
    c)he is delusional and possibly insane.

  22. Ito Kagehisa says:

    I put far more faith in reports by people like GuidoDavid and axl456 than I do in reports by the mass media, the US government, the Venezualan government, people currently living in Europe or the USA, or completely anonymous BB posters.

    I know nothing about what goes on in Venezuela from personal experience. I’ve never been there. In my area, though, here’s what I can say personally: Citgo is sending heating oil to poor people on the East Coast of the USA so they don’t freeze to death. Also, we’ve had massive power outages in my area over the last month, but I do not blame President Obama for them. That is all I really know for sure.

  23. Stu Robertson says:

    I am in Antimano in Caracas, working voluntarily and I can assure you that most of the reporting on Hugo Chavez is incredibly biased outside of Venezuela. Particularly the reports that come from the people who used to run this country (pre-1998)and effectively lived like Europeans while the rest of the people in places like Antimano had no roads, were killing each other for scraps and suffered from a distinct lack of education and health-care.

    While we are on the subject of Merida (Guidodavid) lets talk about how the opposition thugs shot and killed a “Chavista” protestor and then lets see how that was reported around the world? (what a surprise it wasn’t..) Oh and as for the riots being about power-cuts, the only power cuts they were protesting about was the loss of power that the rich and old political elite have suffered since the fair and completely democratic elections.

    I am from the UK and I have been talking with many ordinary people, the vast majority of Venezuelans support Chavez and even the people who have their reservations about him have had to admit that he has provided education, health-care and hope for all and this has to be respected.

    My government has gone to war without asking me, provided a leader (Gordon Brown) that was never elected, provided Hundreds of Billions of Pounds for Banks and cuts funding for Arts, Music, Health-Care & Welfare, Allows MP’s to claim outrageous expenses while the rest of the people in the country suffer repossessions and rampant unemployment.

    Literacy in my country have a look:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jan/29/literacy-numeracy-skills

    …and what is it in Venezuela at the moment?

    http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=124&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=8620

    finally, what about internet control and legistlation in the UK, I have two words: Peter Mandelson

    All countries have problems and no political leader is perfect (look at Gordon Brown for crying out loud), but lets not turn Chavez and what he and his government have done into some kind of joke.

    ..and for the record Twitter is terrorism, particularly when its Richard Madeley at the helm.

  24. kpkpkp says:

    Isn’t Twitter about as disruptive in 2010 as the FAX was in 1980?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Chavez lashes against Twitter and ballparks

    VENEZUELA Venezuelan President believes the messages on social networks such as terrorist threats and called to monitor the protests at matches.

    Wednesday February 3, 2010

    After an unprecedented demonstration in the virtual social network Twitter, where thousands of messages calling for his resignation and called for Venezuela to press freedom and opinion, the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, asked the National Assembly deputies to prepare a law to control the Internet.

    On Tuesday, three press associations under the slogan “Venezuela disaster area for the exercise of freedom of expression,” called a protest in the network microbloggin Twitter to reject, among other measures, suspension of the international signal of RCTV and threats to the exercise of journalism, making locating the hashtag #freevenezuela as the third term often used by about 70 million users worldwide, in a campaign called Twitterolazo users themselves.

    Twitter could be declared ‘a tool of terror’ because the deputies, responding to the presidential request, said they will intervene “for the welfare of the people”, eliminating terrorist threats posed by social networks.

    On Jan. 25, Chavez criticized the messages transmitted on Twitter and make a counter called the Internet.

    The onslaught against the web is the next step in the president’s decision to close the channels of cable TV who refused to link their presidential chains, a situation that sparked strong student protests that were broadcast on social networks.

    The first time a Venezuelan issue dominated the top of Twitter was in August 2009, with the air outlet of the 34 radio stations.

    Now Chavez also wants to control the expression of Venezuelan citizens into stadiums.

    Chavez asked not to be politicized in the Caribbean Baseball Series, by questioning the anti-government protests that have proliferated in recent days in stadiums Venezuelans.

    The president reported that he sent the interior minister to oversee security at the stadium Nueva Esparta, Margarita, as opposition groups “are crazy trying to generate violence in stadiums.”

    “They’re looking for violence,” he said on his TV show.

  26. gATO says:

    Well, given the shitty quality of Internet access we’ve got here, censorship won’t be really necessary.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Any leader who can’t stomach public criticism isn’t fit to lead, regardless of their politics.

    ~I

    • Anonymous says:

      Does that apply to Clarence Thomas who said Americans, or particularly Obama, should not criticize institutions that “preserve liberty.” He, a Supreme Court Justice, said (a) he has been preserving liberty and (b) Americans, or the President, should not criticize a public institution. I believe this man convicted himself as unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Um, were there tweets advocating violence? Isn’t that illegal here, too, if so. If not, why not?

  29. Foom says:

    So disappointing :(

  30. pjk says:

    Here’s an interesting coincidence: Chávez just invited a Cuban minister over to advise the country on energy matters. That minister also happens to have more experience with internet censorship than with power grids.

    http://www.latamdaily.com/2010/02/04/here-to-fix-the-leak/

  31. axl456 says:

    @antinous:
    “are you denying that Venezuela, one of the biggest oil producers in the world, is currently suffering regular electrical outages?”

    in the city where I live we are not having electrical problems, cuz we have here one thermoelectric plant (created 2 year ago by this goverment)

    although we are one of the biggest oil producers in the world, we do not use thermoelectric plants as our main energy source..

    70% of the energy is produce with a hydroelectric plant (el guri) thats in trouble now because of the illegal gold and diamond mining that went on and on in the past goverments..

    that plus the natural dry season on the begining of the year is causing the problems, i dont know how that connects with chavez, but you ask and i anwser..

    “How about the devaluation of the currency with mandatory price controls? And the seizure of business that can’t comply without going under?”

    the devaluation of the currency is related to the inflation in the country..
    since 1989 the LOWEST inflation in vzla (before this goverment) was of 30% having in 1996 an inflation of 99.9%.

    since this goverment win the first election the HIGHEST inflation was 31%.

    we allways have being a consumist country we do not produce the mayority of the thing we consume, we have to import them (this is beginning to change) so is hard to ensure that the necesary products are being sold at a fair price..

    many business (soo fucking many it makes me sick) start to “acaparar” (monopolize or overstock) the products to sell them at a insane higher price, one example is that here you find a fucking iphone at 9 or 10 times the price it should be (thats with everything, food, cars, etc)..

    because of that, the goverment have to regulate the prices, and shut down businees that try to get rich with the suffering of the poor..

    “How about closing down multiple media outlets? Is that all just a fantasy?”

    thats not a fantasy, thats justice..

    did you know that the opposition try to take the president out by force killing inocent ppl in the way and when that happens the tv channels where broadcasting comics?

    they didnt told the truth,and work with the opposition to overthrow this goverment..

    when their coup fail, the president doesnt shut them down…

    6 years later the concessions of the channels expired, and the president didnt renew them (is his legal right to do it or not)

    if you ask me, he just wait to fuckin long to shut down that channel..

    this goverment isnt perfect (chavez isnt in any way perfect i hate a lot of thing he says and do) but this goverment had done more for the ppl than any other goverment in the past, and thats something nobody can deny..

  32. alef says:

    The way you continually portrait Chávez is really worrisome, one would expect a little of contextualization and thought by Boing Boing =(

    RCTV issue by uchronie: what would happen if in 2009 Fox supported a coupe against Obama transmitting only sport and serials while washington people was all around the white house and the Army on the move? When Obama would come back, what would happen to Fox? The Bolivarian Government did not close RCTV, it simply did not renew the frequency concessions 6 years after the coup, when they expired.

    HAARP: fake analyzed in the other thread by others.

    Social issues in Venezuela: overlooked.

    Poverty issues in Venezuela: overlooked.

    Popular support and reasons why: not analyzed.

    The only voices that reach us from Venezuela thru the web are those of the richest minority, do you really think that those who support Chávez, those from the poorest neighborhoods, those who got better health and instruction in these years, have easy access to the net?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      The only voices that reach us from Venezuela thru the web are those of the richest minority

      And, funnily enough, the overwhelming majority of comments in support of Chavez come from Europe. It’s as if knee-jerk pseudo-socialists in wealthy, first world countries derive vicarious political cred from romanticizing him. Meanwhile, the zimbabwification of Venezuela continues.

  33. GuidoDavid says:

    “in the city where I live we are not having electrical problems, cuz we have here one thermoelectric plant (created 2 year ago by this goverment)”

    Which city? Which plant?
    AFAIK, they declared national emergency, and they are praying for God to send rain:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1016719520100210
    That pathetic is the state of the issues there. In Mérida, where I live, we had _four hours_ a day with no power. Completely random schedule. People had to take the streets and become angry and do riots, so the govt. realized, after 5 months, that, gasp!, people wanted a scheduled rationing! The governor of the state is a member of Chávez party. Of course, while this crap was going on they had plenty of demonstrations against imperialism and whatsoever, and condemning Honduras in the name of the People. But no word about a rational way to handle the crisis their stupidity created. And now they pray. Jerks.

    “although we are one of the biggest oil producers in the world, we do not use thermoelectric plants as our main energy source.”

    Don’t you think we could? Or renewable energies? Specially with huge amount of money that we got during the oil boom.

    “70% of the energy is produce with a hydroelectric plant (el guri) thats in trouble now because of the illegal gold and diamond mining that went on and on in the past goverments.”

    LMAO. Again, what a tool. Illegal mining is _still_ going on:
    http://www.morungexpress.com/analysis/39198.html
    And has kept for the last 11 years. You are speaking like Chávez just got in power. Well, he is as responsible of this as the govts he despise. He has had 11 years and billions of dollars to create new alternatives to our dependence of El Guri. He has not, until it is too late, despite the warnings. Because his govt has been focused in things as important as forbidding “violent” video games and giving oil to poor Americans, while the taxes for our wealthy remain even lower than the taxes during Bush.

    “that plus the natural dry season on the begining of the year is causing the problems, i dont know how that connects with chavez, but you ask and i anwser..”

    If you cannot see how a govt with _billions of dollars_ that:
    1)knows that they have a problem with the miners that eventually will affect the most important source of power for the country,
    2)that has been in power for 11 years and yet
    3)failed to tackle the miners problem and
    4)failed to build new plants, despite the fact that our population is growing,
    5) Bought plenty of weapons and gave away foreign aid
    Could not have acted in a different way to avoid this tragedy, then your political judgement is absent and useless. Colombia is offering to _sell_ us power, and yet our govt, so worried for the welfare of people, rejected the offer, while at the same time buying over priced Argentinian imports, because it shut down our commercial relations with Colombia due to its war mongering.
    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9DU3QJ00.htm

    So, Colombia, our neighbor has enough power surplus to sell to us, and you say the drought and miners are to blame, not our govt. Are you so naive or you are pretending to be dumb?

    “the devaluation of the currency is related to the inflation in the country..
    since 1989 the LOWEST inflation in vzla (before this goverment) was of 30% having in 1996 an inflation of 99.9%.”

    Still it is very high. And not so long ago Chávez was mocking the US and saying that Venezuela was bullet proof against crisis. Our GDP fell more than the American GDP. And, you know what? I’ll take the 1996 inflation rate if you give me also 1996 murder rate. Plus, then oil was 8 dollar or so. now is 10 times more,and we still have problems? You gotta be kidding.

    “many business (soo fucking many it makes me sick) start to “acaparar” (monopolize or overstock) the products to sell them at a insane higher price, one example is that here you find a fucking iphone at 9 or 10 times the price it should be (thats with everything, food, cars, etc)..”

    Indeed, but there has to be a proper way to do it, not arbitrary.

    “if you ask me, he just wait to fuckin long to shut down that channel..”

    Authoritarian enemy of Freedom of Speech, no surprise why is a Chávez cheerleader.

    ” goverment had done more for the ppl than any other goverment in the past, and thats something nobody can deny..”

    Citation needed. Old govts built freeways, el Guri, schools and universities with a fraction of the oil money we got now. So, prove your affirmation.

  34. GuidoDavid says:

    Ito:

    The thing is that Chávez in person ordered that the utility companies were turned public, so now the mistakes are of his govt. Govts and men need to be held accountable for what they do, if they fail, NEXT. But when the govt claims that if NEXT wins “there will be war” an that some people are not human, things get scary.

    Massive outages like 4 hours a day per 5 months?

    I do not think that a country like Venezuela can afford to subsidize the poor people from America as PR stunt.

    • Ito Kagehisa says:

      I agree with you that when the government runs the utilities, they must take the blame for utility failures. I also agree that any government that claims to be either socialist or democratic (or both) should not be making threats about what they might do if they lose an election! We’re having some trouble in the USA right now with a minority party refusing to accept the democratically expressed will of the majority, and calling for violence.

      Our recent power outages involved thousands of people having no power for days at a time. In some cases, over a week without power. I blame the weather, and the fact that the power utilities would rather spend money on executive salaries and political lobbyists than on infrastructure modernization and line worker’s wages.

      I understand your feelings about the Chavez government’s PR stunt, but look at it from my point of view – that PR stunt is keeping people in my state from losing their homes or their lives.

      My own government is too busy killing brown people in the Middle East to bother caring for the poor and elderly in my area, and Venezuela is doing something about it, so I have to appreciate the work and effort that Venezuelans are doing for the people of the USA. That includes Chavez (though his motives probably are not pure) and the oil workers and taxpayers of Venezuela (although they might not really want to subsidize the poor people of North America). I feel morally obligated to be grateful to Venezuelans as a group.

  35. Anonymous says:

    “if China can’t successfully censor the internet, neither can you.”

    You forget that Chavez is far more willing to fuck up his country’s economy than the ChiComs are.

  36. LeilaMonkey says:

    I don’t know if this is real or a joke, but it’s HILARIOUS. I’ve translated it for you below, but here’s the link to lasillavacía.com, a blog specializing in Colombian politics.

    http://www.lasillavacia.com/elblogueo/o-lucia-lozano/6369/chavez-se-la-canta-uribe

    ENGLISH TRANSLATION
    Chavez sings it to Uribe
    If Hugo Chavez chose to sing to Alvaro Uribe’s ear, he’ll probably chose “Son de la Negra”, a Mexican tune that’s present in every mariachi serenade. At least that’s the one he chose in the virtual serenade the Venezuelan leader apparently sent to the Colombia president via http://www.serenata4u.com, an email service of songs with uploaded photos and messages.

    According to one of the directors of the web page, the serenade was sent Wednesday at 11:20 am. His repertoire was limited to this tune, although they know Chavez has reserved three other songs, “Alla en el rancho grande” “Cielito Lindo” and Malagueña. And they are waiting to see if Alvaro Uribe will respond with anything. Whether in jest or seriously, we cannot be certain, here’s the serenade

    http://www.serenata4u.com/app/webroot/files/final_serenatas/e74c0d42b4433905293aab661fcf8ddb/index.php?configLanguage=es&comp=&na=d6e5eff0164a0eaed48458cd964e029be59bb9144caaaf6c

    Now the internet also works to improve foreign relations through passionate songs, specially from someone like Chavez who is said to be a big lover of Mexican ranchera music.

  37. GuidoDavid says:

    Oh, and, BTW, how is screwing the rich elite to have high taxes on sales but low taxes for net income?
    My illiterate grandmother does not need taxes when she buys, you know.

    RAISE THE FUCKING TAXES TO A SCANDINAVIAN LEVEL!

    11 years and still are lower than when Bush cut the taxes to the rich in the US. Shameful

  38. Anonymous says:

    I find Hugo Chavez one of those interesting tests for the left (kind of like the Iraq War is for the right). How will the left deal with the fact that they where cheer-leading Hugo Chavez just a few years ago, attacking anyone who tried to criticize him, and are now faced with the fact that every dire prediction about Chavez is turning out to be true. (the contra to that, is, Iraq, where all the dire predictions from the left turned out to be true).

  39. Pantograph says:

    Once again I’m in full agreement with the world’s most enlightened leader. Twitter must go.