Venezuela Declares War On Twitter

November 3, 2013


It is somewhat ironic that while the Venezuelan Government has not made a single tweet about the NSA monitoring the email accounts of a bunch of Venezuelan politicians, it seems to have declared war on Twitter, with Maduro going as far as comparing the six thousand followers he lost to the “desaparecidos” of Latin American dictatorships and suggesting that this is a right wing attack led by Twitter. The whole thing is absurd and laughable, but at the same time makes you wonder what goes on in these people’s minds.

It all began with Maduro losing 6,000 followers recently, or about 0.4% of his followers in one of those periodic “clean ups” that Twitter does, erasing phantom users, unwanted users and those denounced by other twiteros as spam. But apparently Maduro’s experts on social media noticed the drop and decided to raise a stink. You have to wonder why such numbers are so important to the revolution and revolutionaries, you would think polls are more significant at this point.

And by now Maduro has mentioned the topic twice, Cabello once (Did you know Twitter has country heads and Venezuela’s is Ravell’s son of Chigüire Bipolar fame?) and they are by now proposing an alternative Twitter, which I guess will be called either or

But you really have to wonder what motivates these guys, after all, Maduro has north of 1.4 million followers, which in itself shows how democratic Twitter really is and how insignificant the number of followers really is. I mean, Katy Perry has 30 times Nicolas’ followers, topping Justin Bieber. Do you need further proof of how meaningless followers are?

But beyond that, do they really want to make fool of themselves creating another “alternative” social network for radicals? Who would use it? Don’t they realize how competitive the social network world is? I mean, social networks were invented, funded and developed by capitalists, few of which had the “good” of the world as their goal. In fact, most of them are looking for the gold at the end of the rainbow.

And you have to wonder what happened to the alternative to Facebook, called Face Popular, rather than, which last I looked was something like the 80,000th. most important website in the world. Compare, for example with El Universal, which is the 2,458th. most important website in the world. (I mean, beats face popular hands down!) But perhaps one has to wonder why Facepopular links to all important social networks in its own website or why Minister Iris Varela announced the website via, of all places, Twitter.

I mean, calling Maria Corina, Leopoldo and Henrique “La Trilogía del Mal” is laughable enough, more so when Diosado Cabello, who does look like a really bad guy, does it, but involving Twitter in a plot against Maduro is mostly laughable, except it also makes you feel like weeping from embarrassment.

More ominously, I wonder if Maduro knows that Twitter will be going public in the next couple of weeks? Maybe the only reason is to have the funds to further attack Nicolas. I mean, with the billion dollars that will be raised, Twitter could probably wipe out half of Maduro’s followers.

And I bet they would not even notice!

67 Responses to “Venezuela Declares War On Twitter”

  1. Hugo Says:

    But his legacy will last for ever.

  2. Corino Says:

    Think Positive? Chavez is dead

  3. Hugo Says:

    Well, that sounds cynical ! If everyone could pull together and think positively, things would get much better much sooner.

    • Ima Sample Says:

      By positive thinking, you mean to say wishful thinking–which is fantasy. That will be a big help and really change things, huh?

      Most distrurbing is your comment that if Twitter disappeared tomorrow, you wouldn’t miss it all, and therein rests the horrible poison which is Chavismo:

      Your total willingness to sacrifice your rights to freedom of speech, without a care in the world about taking those rights away from others.

      Chavismo is a criminal, inept, corrupt, divisive, brutal, dictitorial and unjust regime, and all the “positive thinking” in the world isn’t going to change this basic fact.

  4. moctavio Says:

    Nothing positive to report. Come back in 50 years, which is what they claim will take to “fix” the economy.

  5. Hugo Says:

    I am new to this site but I am shocked by the constant criticism of Maduro, the government, PSUV and even Venezuela itself in almost every article, to say nothing about attacking the lasting legacy from Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution. OK, not everyone is perfect all of the time but let´s look also at all the positive achievements because that´s what the majority of the voters have done every time elections have come round.

    Also the media, in Venezuela and abroad, have to take responsibility for creating alarm and despondency in criticizing the revolution. Twitter has conspired with the naysayers and Google and others have been sinister accomplices of opposition leaders (appropriately named MUD) in the planning and coordination of plots and insurrection. So Maduro is right to show them up and I wouldn´t miss Twitter if it disappeared tomorrow.

    And please can we have some positive views on the revolution?

  6. moctavio Says:

    A close relative of mine had a bad accident two weeks ago. Luckily, he remained conscious and told the cops that picked him up to take him to a private clinic. The person driving the car was taken to a public hospital, where he received no care fore the first 24 hours. When I say care, I mean not even an aspirin. He had a broken hip, leg and foot. The doctor said if my relative had been taken to the same hospital, he would not have made it. He is doing fine, the driver is still in the hospital.

  7. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Wow. According to the AP the Venezuelan medical infrastructure is in virtual collapse. Read here:

  8. syd Says:

    Weird having English native speaker Eva Golinger speak with an accent in Spanish to another English native speaker with extremely limited understanding of Spanish, voiced over by Eva’s interpreter — in English.

    I guess some folks have a hard time delivering clarity, or maybe don’t want to, so enamoured are they with themselves.

    • Kepler Says:

      Oh, I had a lot of fun when Chavistas claimed to have discovered a fax (fax) message sent to a CIA operative at the US embassy in Caracas.
      I think it was one of those “magnicidios”.

      The message was in Spanish and it was then published in Aporrea. The text was badly written but not as in “badly written because it’s a bad translation” but as in “badly written because someone who doesn’t read much wrote it without paying too much attention”.
      People started to ask if the CIA operatives were communicating in Spanish. Eva Golinger said she was going to publish the original in English as well, but she never came out with it. I kept asking her on Twitter. It seems she counted on her public forgetting about it – and she was right.

      It would have been funny to force her to write the “original”

  9. Albert Says:

    I watched the Eva Golinger liason with ASSange where she says the solution to NSA eavsdropping is “exclusive” cable links like the one between Cuba and Venezuela. I think she’s referring to the ALBA-1 cable that connects Venezuela to Cuba and Jamaica. This cable then flows to UK. Very secure indeed.

  10. Albert Says:

    released today first time ever: Apple worldwide report on government requests.

    Click to access 131105reportongovernmentinforequests2.pdf

    several observations:

    1. Latam Law Enforcement slow to use these tools
    2. Only Brasil and Chile using
    3. Five of 34 Brasilian requests had to do with stolen Apple devices

    The US requests are for ‘US Persons.’ Venezuelans residing in the US could figure into the mix. Venezuelans in Venezuela are not being targeted through this mean (court order). It’s safe to assume the other Service Providers (Google, etc) are not getting Venezuelan requests.

  11. Albert Says:

    Venezuela conecta con 27 paises.

    Panfilo, no seas pendejo. Los conosco muy bien. They run your country and mine.

  12. Moncada Says:

    Eva Golinger is feeling lonely, nobody is paying attention to her. Let’s leak a document!

    Eva source of leaks… 3 hours ago:

  13. Moncada Says:

    The “exclusive” fiber betwen Cuba and VE that Eva refers to what actually developed by Alcatel. It then goes from Cuba to Jamaica and then to UK. They have that tapped too Eva

  14. Moncada Says:

    The reason you never heard the Bolivarian government harp about US surveillance is because they took steps to prevent it. Ever since HCF came into power, the Cubans isolated him and the did a fine job. Assange is fear mongering. The US cannot store all that information coming through the pipes as he suggests. They can store US telephoney metadata for years but that is metadata, not the entire pipe. The have rolling buffers of three to five days only as per the slides (they are working on more capacity). That means they can only store so many days before the drives fill up. Latam is not that important in the scheme of things. They are sucking up data in Brasil and Colombia because they can. Who knows what they do with it. Assange is so full of shit and pathetic, Golinger and him are made for each other.

  15. Moncada Says:

    Assange of full of shit in his opening statement. 98% is off by 10%+ and that certainly does not include the capabilities he is suggesting. The US Government is not privy to the communications of the Bolivarian and Cuban leadership. To have access to the communications of key persons in other countries, they have to have physical infrastructure in-country that works in tandem with infrastructure outside of country in the case of satellite communications. Venezuela tightly controls who has access to what in-country. It can be done covertly but difficult to hide IMO.

  16. Gerardo Says:

    “Maduro declares war on Twitter” October 2013

    “Venezuela loses 3 fighter jets and two ships searching the ocean for Twitter” November 2013

    “Venezuela bans cell phones out of Twitter fear” January 2014

    “Hugo Chavez starts Twittering again, Maduro is silent” February 2013

  17. Moncada Says:

    OT: I have it from a good source that Eva Golinger, did not sleep with Assange during her recent visit with him. Nothing happened when she returned later that night (alone) with dinner for two.

  18. Swordfish Says:

    good article example. The author knows who the players are

  19. Swordfish Says:

    for those interested, the top level sources for NSA stories are The Guardian, NYT and Washington Post. On the legal front, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU are in battling in court supported by professors like Fred Cate from Indiana. This is a good starting point.

  20. Swordfish Says:

    I wonder if being a pathological narcissist is a requirement to work in the U.S. Intelligence Community. This goes for contractors too. This crowd is very heavy on themselves and above everyone else. On the outside it looks like hypocrisy but it’s a lot deeper than thnt. Snowden is one that got away.

  21. Spector Says:

    Here’s PRISM. IT’s confusing… do they need a court order or not? If court order required then PRISM is not very high on the Venezuela list. They have other means that don’t require court order. Court Order is for U.S. persons

  22. Spector Says:

    Latin America specific info. 57% of all Internet traffic flows through Miami according to this and 86% of all LATAM traffic flows through U.S.

  23. Spector Says:

    Here are the just published slides relevant to Venezuela. How they do it. This happens in Miami and UK (Muscular) and through direct court order “PRISM” although unlikely PRISM is used against Venezuelans. Another method used In Venezuela is grabbing it from the air through rooftop equipment at the British, US and possibly Australia/NZ/Canada missions.

    I suspect they are intercepting fiber optic cables also in St. Martin, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

  24. Maduro should just buy Twitter in the upcoming IPO.

  25. Phil Says:

    Quick comment on NSA surveillance of Venezuela(ns). The bulk of the activity happens via two different data collection processes. The first is access to the raw data from the subsea fiber cables. They do this in Miami (Nap of the Americas, third floor) where they “leverage unique key corporate partnerships to gain access to high-capacity international fiber-optic cables, switches and or routers.” They have three different authorities to do this. This upstream collection process can capture more than half of the Internet traffic in Latam and the Caribbean using what they call “Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney and Oakstar.” The second collection process is via the U.S. Service Providers a.k.a. Google, Skype, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, etc. using what they call “PRISM.” The NSA is also collecting upstream data from Google by a recently disclosed collection process based in UK…they are accessing the front-end servers and tapping the fiber-optic cables between Google data centers. The Venezuelan government is already well isolated to protect itself as the Americans and its Western allies do not have access to local infrastructure and local spying is limited to rooftop mounted sensors. My understanding is that the NSA has not been successful at targeting HCF or Maduro.

    • Phil Says:

      2006 was the year that the board lit up regarding U.S. Internet surveillance of Venezuela. Even the nuclear agencies where involved. All of them. It when Venezuela was added to President Bush’s daily brief. One of a handful of countries. Back then, the data collection was coming online and there was never IMO enough quality resources allocated to this. The reason being the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which where draining all resources. All the budgets for Latam where frozen and the monies reallocated to the war. They really wanted to win.

      • Phil Says:

        Today, the capabilities are in excess of what they can process. You think a twenty something year old pipsqueak from up North understands Venezuela?

      • Kepler Says:

        And they screwed it big time…but it was good for Lockeed Martin and the like.

        • Spector Says:

          And Edward Snowden thought HK (China) was going to grant him asylum. The delusional and idiotic ES who is guilty of breaking his oath and espionage. He did not do this for me and you, he did this for himself. Just ask his ex-fiance. I would tell you to ask his friends but he has no friends prior to pulling this stunt.

        • Spector Says:

          Yes, there are many companies benefitting from this. That is why it was such a big secret for so long. The stakes are very high. Nobody wanted to talk about it. The NSA and the Intelligence budgets are the golden goose.

  26. Roy Says:

    This is just more silliness to divert attention from real issues: Crime, Corruption, Inflation, Shortages, Infrastructure Failures, etc…

  27. geronl Says:

    So trivial and petty, from someone who is supposed to be running a government

  28. Glenn Says:

    OT but 4 Iranians and an Afghani were taken off an Air Canada flight today with fake tickets and 4 arrests were made in Maquetia. Wonder how many more have fallen through the cracks. Also have to wonder if there are any terror ties. The lawlessness in Venezuela is astounding.

  29. xp Says:

    parece que sitme dejo de funcionar …
    unos conocidos ahora no pueden enviar reales a sus viejos en caracas,
    [via comm bank]

  30. Island Canuck Says:

    Off topic but fits into the craziness.

    Venezuela quietly seizes control of U.S. oil rigs
    Venezuela recently and quietly took control of two Texas-owned oil rigs that that had been closed, sitting idle, due to a failure to make payments.
    The seizure was made with a judge’s permission, The Washington Post reported.
    Four members of Anzoategui State police and the Venezuela national guard stormed the Houston-based Superior Energy Services rigs recently and demanded that control be transferred to the nation-owned oil producer, PDVSA, The Post said. PDVSA said the equipment was needed for the welfare of South American citizens, and company workers tore down parts of the facilities and loaded up their trucks.
    “It was like a thief breaking into your house, asking for the keys to the safe and then expecting you to help carry it away,” said a local operations manager for Superior, to The Post. “Their argument was that we were practically sabotaging national production.”
    The nation’s newest president, Nicolas Maduro, has been fighting to overturn perceptions set by the late president, Hugo Chavez, that the country is unfriendly to foreign investors. Mr. Chavez made frequent appearances on state-run television, announcing his troops had stormed the likes of grocery stores and oil companies, enacting takeovers. Mr. Maduro has so far avoided such action in his six months as leader.

    • Roy Says:

      Add them to the list of things of value seized by the Chavistas which will be worthless junk after a month of Chavista misuse.

  31. Kepler Says:


    Go to
    and scroll down and down and look on the right.
    Will Chávez replace the Reyes Magos or Santa?

  32. Canadian Says:

    Well. What do you expect when a bus driver is the president? 🙂

    • syd Says:

      nothing wrong with a bus driver, per se, ending up as president, especially if he had worked hard at each of the stages of his life. But such was not the case with Maduro.

      • metodex Says:

        He got there the true Venezuelan way, pulling balls.
        That’s the way thing have been working for a while now,and how they’ll work for many decades to come.

    • Kepler Says:

      Nothing wrong with being a bus driver and then becoming the president of a country. Sorry, the usual title of “lawyer” does not impress me at all. And even people who have made it with studies such as physics or engineering can screw it.
      Think of Truman or Reagan (just an example for a country in America)

      • Aristo Says:

        Neither Truman nor Reagan was a physicist or engineer…What exactly, in your opinion, did they screw?

        • Kepler Says:

          That was my point. Truman was a farmer and a retailer and Reagan an actor. They were not better or worse than those who were lawyers (not that law requires so many skills apart from lots of rote learning).
          I can think of a physicist who hasn’t been particularly bad – German chancellor Merkel. I can think of a physicist who did it very badly as head of state – Israel’s Ehud Barak (brilliant physicist and military).

          So: formal studies are not so much of an indicator for the success or failure.

          Maduro is something apart. Maduro is an absolute fool, a puppet.

          • Reagan may have been an actor, but he was Head of the Actors union which managed a lot of money and did well at the job, then he was Governor of California, which catapulted him to the Presidency. Maduro was barely a union leader, who backed Chaves. He was Minister of Foreign Relations where he destroyed the Ministry and did what Chavez asked.He has no clue, Reagan knew economics and how to manage a team and choose people.

          • Phil Says:

            Hey pal, Reagan was a product of the times. I may disagree with what he did with drugs, Centam and Iran-Contra but he was president of the screen actors guild during the McCarthy era. He became General Electric’s spokesperson and used that gig to become governor. He scared the shit out of everyone during the 1976 Republican Convention but stayed true to his ideology and won the next time around. His meeting with Gorbachev in Poland I believe is the stuff of legends. You may think his economic policies damaged America but get a grip Kepler your anti-Americanism is offensive. I dont go harping about the asshole Germans on this site.

            • moctavio Says:

              Damaged? Inflation was rampant, he appointed Volcker who did very unpopular things to stop it.

          • Maria Gonzalez Says:

            Well I hope that at least a President had a high school diploma…I am not sure if Maduro has one.

          • Kepler Says:


            You are behaving like a brutish Chauvinist. I said Reagan was not better or worse than presidents who were lawyers, not that he was like Maduro, who is horrible. And I said the same thing about Truman.

            Is that “anti-Americanism”?

            What do you want? For everyone to say Reagan was the best head of state after King Solomon?

            What a pathetic Chauvinist! Do you have a poster of Reagan at home and cry every night when you see it because he is now dead and he cannot save the nation from evil communist Obama or something?

            • Phil Says:

              Nothing like that. Just commenting on your anti-Americanism which you display every chance you get. No need to throw Reagan in the mix.

          • syd Says:

            Phil, may I suggest you get a grip? Kep said good things about Truman and Reagan, the latter on which you vehemently disagree. This makes me think that you’re a die-hard Democrat (chauvinist ) who’s death on any praise heaped on a Republican. Frankly, that perspective is boring in a blog on Venezuelan politics, read by people mostly from or living in other countries.

            Finally, I’d agree with Octavio, neither of us having been baptised in the US’s political religion. Reagan saved the US dollar from tanking by controlling inflation through his well-appointed staff, Volcker included. He brought a measure of sheen to US foreign relations. And I say this being a simpler observer of politics from afar, without getting into a technocratic role.

            Again, please get a grip.

      • Roy Says:

        I agree with Kepler, in general, about the original educations of political leaders. A legal education does not necessarily produce the best leaders. In fact, I prefer politicians who have done real things in the real world making decisions about real money and real lives. However, there are no guarantees. Carter was a nuclear engineer and was one of the worst presidents in recent U.S. history.

        • Phil Says:

          Carter was mentored by Admiral Rickover of the parallel Nuclear Navy. Rickover was fired by Ronald Reagan under advisement of Navy Sec John Lehman, architect of the 600 ship navy that sent the Soviets reeling. Under Carter, the plan was to reduce aircraft carriers to five or six. Carter was the biggest idiot of them all. Nixon was the biggest thug. Obama the biggest loser.

          • Phil Says:

            Rickover did one thing right: he designed the best nuclear vessels in the world. All analog with failsafes. Nothing that they could not handle unlike the Soviets. The problem was Rickover did his own thing from selecting crews to building boats and costs where out of control. Rickover was not about controlling costs. They would change orders in mid-construction all the time. Rickover would not take orders from anyone. They day he was fired in the Oval Office, it was a humiliation for Lehman as Rickover went into a barrage against Reagan. The President could had chewed his ass out but Reagan took it all in and did not say a word.

  33. DJpidi Says:

    Could it be a first step towards banning Twitter in Venezuela? (as part of communicational hegemony)

  34. Arco Says:

    So many real problems in Venezuela and he is crying like a 15 year old little itch about what is happening on twitter! real maduro!!

  35. Ronaldo Says:

    Chavez communicated solely with Twitter for months while in the Cuban health care system. Now Maduro starts complaining about Twitter after his eternal leader is dead.

  36. Glenn Says:

    When Chavez talks to Maduro as a little bird he “twitters,” right? How ironic

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