Archive for May, 2010

A New scenario for populism

By Javier Velandia

Hugo Chavez Launches his blog, two months after the creation of his Twitter account, the Venezuelan president strikes back with a new blog.

The blog created two days ago counts with an information platform about his government and his opinion on Venezuela’s future.

The new virtual personality of the Venezuelan president is a clear response to all the media and critics of his government that in recent months have accused him of censoring the Internet

The creation o the Chavez Twitter account has been a success among the Chavez followers. More than 50.000 messages in one week and more than 230.000 followers confirm his success. But what is really interesting are the contents of the messages that the people are sending him and the responses he is giving to them. 

Chavez has established a “connection” with his followers and has showed himself like as the savior of the people. The people ask for something and he answer almost immediately solving their needs people needs.

He has transformed the Twitter idea of Social group and has turned it into a populist way of making politics. He has upgraded the traditional scenario of the plaza to a massive screen where he sends messages to the people responding to their needs into other level.

The creation of the blog is other way of getting closer to the people with the same strategy used by the opposition in the past. He understood that the internet could be a powerful tool for his political ambitions, and he created a new virtual Chavez capable of listening to the real people problems and solving them.

Chavez and his new virtual persona is an interesting case of how the meaning of spaces and uses of technology can be changed to achieve a specific purpose.

Categories: Venezuela

Hugo Chavez in Twitter.

By Javier Velandia

Last March several newspapers around the world informed about the Intentions of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of censoring and monitoring the internet, to prevent defamation and wrong information against his government.

But what the world was not expecting was Hugo Chavez sing on Twitter. Last  April 27 “@chavezcandanga” the Chavez account appeared  14 minutes after midnight. His first post:

“Epa que tal? Aparecí como lo dije: a la medianoche. Pa Brasil me voy. Y muy contento a trabajar por Venezuela. Venceremos!!

With this short message Chavez started his counterattack against the opposition that in the last years used the Internet to protest, organise and express ideas against his government.

The next morning Chavez had nearly 29,000 followers on Twitter. And he invited other South American Presidents to sign in the social network.

During the first week Chavez had 237,000 followers and received more than 50,000 messages. Last 8 of May Chavez announced the creation of a group of 200 people called “Mision Chavezcandanga”  to try to respond all the messages received in his Twitter account.

After this change in his policy against the internet, he is trying to find out the way of doing politics in the internet without censorship

Categories: Uncategorized


By Javier Velandia

Past April 15 Radio Free Europe published an interview with Austin Heap, director of the San Francisco-based Censorship Research Center; he announced the new strategy of the US Government to “help” the Iranians to beat the draconian Internet censorship established by the president Mahmud Ahmadineyad.

Heap said that with technology they will “allow people to have their basic human right of free speech without fear of retaliation. It’s not just Iran for us; it is a whole host of countries around the world who are using the Internet as a tool of silencing people “.

The US government is assuming again that the internet by itself would reach democracy.  It is important to say that the use of internet could shape different ways of social and cultural changes but that does not mean that the internet will bring democracy to the people.

Categories: IRAN