POLITICS

Venezuela's Capriles May Have Lost The Election Battle, But He Won The (Twitter) War

A prolific tweeter, Henrique Capriles has well over 3.3 million followers on the social media site, dwarfing second place Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who has just over 2 million. Capriles’ rival in the election, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has 1.1. million followers. (Photo AP/Fernando Llano)

A prolific tweeter, Henrique Capriles has well over 3.3 million followers on the social media site, dwarfing second place Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who has just over 2 million. Capriles’ rival in the election, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has 1.1. million followers. (Photo AP/Fernando Llano)

If it’s any consolation for losing the Venezuelan election – twice – Henrique Capriles can at least be happy that in the social media world, he’s the most popular Latin American politician.

A prolific tweeter, Capriles has well over 3.3 million followers on the social media site, dwarfing second place Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who has just over 2 million. Capriles’ rival in the election, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, has 1.1 million followers.

While Capriles’ 3.3 million followers still pales in comparison to that of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, who despite being dead for over two months still has an active Twitter account, with more than 4.2 million followers. To be fair, however, the former figurehead of “21st Century Socialism” hasn’t tweeted since February 18 of this year, when he quoted Argentinean Revolutionary Che Guevara famous phrase “Hasta La Victoria Siempre.”

Capriles, who personally manages his Twitter, relies heavily on this network and created a digital television that can be viewed online. Since the Venezuelan cracked down on opposition media in the South American nation, Capriles and other voices critical of Maduro have taken their messages to social media in an effort to do everything from calling for a reelection to calling a press conference.

Capriles used Twitter earlier this week to invite followers to listen to the press conference held by opposition lawmaker Ismael García, who reported on the alleged audio conspiracy among Chavista leaders in Venezuela. García said the recording captures a phone conversation between state TV personality Mario Silva, a staunch government ally, and a Cuban identified as Lt. Col. Aramis Palacios.

Venezuela's opposition has long accused Cuban leaders of wielding influence behind the scenes in guiding government decisions. For its part, the Venezuelan government accuses Capriles of being a puppet of the U.S.

Capriles’ social media following is impressive not just in Latin America, but on the world stage. United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron has a little over 300,000 followers and Russian President Vladimir Putin has only around 150,000 followers on his Russian language account.

The Venezuelan politician, however, has some work to do if he wants to catch up with other world leader with the most followers on social media – Barack Obama. The U.S. president soars every other global politician, with a whopping 31.8 million followers.

The U.S. commander in chief has that going for him, but both Obama and Capriles’ Twitter followers combined don’t even come close to the king of Twitter. Teeny bopper pop star Justin Beiber has the most followers in the social media, with 39.5 million.

Can you Belieb that?

The Associated contributed to this report. 

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