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Americas

Chavez determined to blog his way to revolutionary victory

Text by Lorena GALLIOT

Latest update : 2010-03-26

After imposing his socialist "Bolivarian revolution" on national radio and television, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is now intent on spreading his ideology on the Web with a blog of his own.

Venezuelan bloggers are quivering with anticipation after the announcement of a prominent newcomer in their midst: President Hugo Chavez himself.
 
The leader of Venezuela’s socialist “revolution” informed his countrymen on Sunday, via his weekly televised talk show “Alo Presidente”, that he would be blogging from the presidential palace of Miraflores in Caracas to counter his detractors on the Web.
 
“Why shouldn’t I have a computer somewhere in Miraflores with my own blog, so that I can communicate with millions, not only in Venezuela but in the world!”, Chavez said.
 
Describing the Internet as a “trench in the struggle” of ideologies, Chavez vowed to “bombard” web users with information on his regime and his political vision. “There have been counter-revolutions and coups organised on the Web. We have to be ready to counter the counter-revolutions. All this is part of the battle of socialism against capitalism,” he proclaimed.
 
A post on the Miami-based opposition blog Caracas Chronicles gleefully welcomed the challenge, dubbing the project the ‘Chavington Post’. “Welcome Hugo! This is going to be great fun…,” wrote blogger Quico.
 
'Hello, my name is Hugo and I’m new to blogging'
 
A blog under Chavez’s name showed up on the Web shortly after his TV appearance. Under the headline “my first blog post”, the entry read: “Hello, my name is Hugo and I’m new to all this blog and social networking stuff” before spelling out the president’s login password “so that I won’t forget it.”
 
Disappointingly, the post turned out to be a spoof site written by facetious opposition members. So far, the president’s online ambitions have not yet taken shape on the Web.
 
The president has a tendency to drop a good deal of the countless reforms, projects and new ideas he enthusiastically launches, so many web users have greeted his latest tirade with scepticism. “This will, thankfully, run the same luck as Chavez's radio programme ("De repente, Chavez"), which appeared and disappeared quite suddenly,” reacted blogger Pelao Manrique on Caracas Chronicles.
 
But the president’s talk of a “Bolivarian Internet” also deepened the unease of some critics, who are concerned that Chavez's recent moves to close opposition radio and television stations could broaden to an attempt to crack down on anti-Chavez posts on the Internet.
 
If and when the presidential blog is set up, it will add to the near-daily communications Chavez already makes over the airwaves and in print to his country of 27 million people.

Date created : 2010-03-25

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