Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro claims to have received Wednesday a tweet from later leader Hugo Chávez.
No, the one-time prolific tweeter did not use the social media service from beyond the grave, but he allegedly did visit Maduro…in the form of a bird.
The bird, which purportedly also visited Maduro in April while he was on the campaign trail, told the Venezuelan president that it was happy with the way Maduro was running the country.
Back then the mention of the appearance of the bird-shaped Chávez, who died March 5 after a two-year fight against cancer, sparked a controversy in the country amid the start of the presidential campaign. Some fans expressed admiration for Maduro's remarks, while opponents took the opportunity to mock him and call him crazy.
Even so, the ruling party won by a narrow 1.5 percent margin over opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who so far has refused to concede defeat claiming that a fraud was committed.
Capriles has been a thorn in the side of the Maduro government since the election. Not only has he refused to concede and petitioned international organizations to help overturn the results, but he has recently begun an Internet television show in protest over allegations that the country’s television stations and newspapers are cutting him out of their coverage.
"Todos Somos Venezuela" (“All of Us Are Venezuela”) represents the first time that a politician in Venezuela has hosted a television show since Chávez died. The late leader hosted the wildly popular “Aló Presidente” in which he sang, danced, debated politics and railed against his enemies.
“What they’re trying to do is make invisible those who have an alternative vision to this government,” Capriles said as as quoted by Bloomberg. “I’m grateful to the free media, to those who are not allowing themselves to be censored and to journalists who continue to give free information to take note of the program, which will be a window for information.”
Capriles was hit hard by state media following the street disturbances after the elections and labeled a “fascist assassin.” The former candidate argues that the recent sale of private media such as television network Globovision and newspaper chain Cadena are efforts to “make him invisible.”
Capriles’ two-hour show runs at 11 a.m. every Tuesday on the website capriles.tv and features the opposition politician fielding questions from national and international journalists.