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Twitter Censorship Government Social Networks The Media Politics

Venezuelan Regime Censoring Twitter 152

First time accepted submitter Saúl González D. writes "After two days of massive protests, the Venezuelan government has finally taken to censoring Twitter. Users of Venezuela's largest ISP CANTV, which is owned by the government, are reporting that either Twitter-embedded images will not load or that Twitter will fail to load at all. I am a user myself and can confirm that only Twitter is affected and that switching to the Tor browser solves the issue. As news of the protests are not televised, for most Venezuelans Twitter and Facebook are their only means of obtaining real-time information.
Despite a progressive worsening of civil and human rights, governments of the world have shied away from directly labeling Maduro a dictator or demanding the OAS' Democratic Charter be activated. Will open censorship be the tipping point?"
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Venezuelan Regime Censoring Twitter

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  • by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @07:04AM (#46253793)

    Once the government can start ceasing private assets "for the greater good," they can start taking away a lot more than just physical goods "for the greater good." People in that country are already emigrating en masse, it's only a matter of time until the iron curtain rises.

    And by the way, for anybody who still thinks that restricting imports through tariffs and other measures is a good idea for the sake of improving domestic job creation, you'll want to take a good solid look at Venezuela's recent history in the last few months where they've made it extremely difficult to buy foreign goods, and this:

    http://guardianlv.com/2014/02/... [guardianlv.com]

    When they say imports and domestic production rise and fall with one another, this is what they're talking about.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2014 @07:22AM (#46253837)
    Stop bringing facts into this! Socialism is bad. The shareholders of a private company would be a much better place for those hundreds of billions of dollars, and you know it. The yacht & McMansion construction industry won't support itself, you know!
  • by Kilobug ( 213978 ) <le-mig_g@epiEEEta.fr minus threevowels> on Saturday February 15, 2014 @08:59AM (#46253993)

    First, it is not "massive protests", it's the typical (for Venezuela since 1999) protest of the wealthy minority opposing the Bolivarian Revolution, despite dozens of electoral victories of PSUV and allies (ratified by various international observers). And it is violent protests, like when Capriles contested the elections of Maduro, in both cases there has been PSUV supporters _killed_ by the opposition. The opposition also assaulted public building, like Chacao municipality or Caracas metro system (this time), or schools and hospitals (when Maduro was elected).

    On the broader picture, the opposition isn't at its first violent attempt to oppose the democratically elected government. For those who don't remember it, in 2002, the same opposition did a military coup attempt, in which Pedro Carmona (the leader of business federation) briefly took power, suspended the Constitution and constitutional guarantees, dissolved the Parliament and the Supreme Court, imposed martial law, closed the public TV station and many independent local TV channels (like Catia TV). Capriles, the current leader of the opposition in Venezuela, was personally involved in supporting the coup, including in a violent assault against the Cuban embassy in Caracas.

    Those protests aren't done by "students", they are done by a rich elite refusing to lose their privilege, and not stopping at any means (including violence, murder, and military coups) to undermine a legitmately elected and always re-elected government. They are fascists, as shown by how they behaved (suspending all constitutional guarantees and dissolving all democratic institutions) when they briefly took power in 2002.

    As for the media, before listening to all the lies about "censorship", you should remember that the media in 2002 actively participated in the coup attempt, manipulating footage to pretend that Chávez supporters opened fire on the opposition, while in reality it was sharpshooters from the opposition killing Chávez supporters from the roof of on hotel. There is a very good documentary on that topic, "The Revolution will not be televised", that was made by Irish filmmakers who happened to be in Caracas during the events. I advise strongly everyone to watch this documentary before supporting the "opposition" in Venezuela and criticizing the attitude of the Venezuelan government towards the media. In most countries of the world, including Europe or USA, if media did half of what they did in Venezuela, there would have been prison sentences.

    Finally, for the Twitter "censorship", the PSUV Twitter account was hacked recently, and Twitter is not cooperating the Venezuelan government to help them track the authors of that infraction. While no one knows (yet) all the details of what is going on between the Venezuelan government and Twitter, it's way too early to call about "censorship" in that context, it may very well be just a way for the Venezuelan government to pressure Twitter to cooperate in tracking the authors of a penal infraction.

  • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @09:49AM (#46254119) Homepage
    This is what I would call a reverse no true scotsman falacy. You make a general statement ("Socialism doesn't work"), and if someone points out an example where the statement is obviously false, you invent an ad hoc exception ("Norway is a small, relatively homogeneous nation").
  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:16AM (#46254197) Journal

    Yeah, yeah, my people did the seizing so it's all good.

  • by inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @11:10AM (#46254427)

    Except Norway did pretty much opposite of what Venezuela did.

    Norway created a state company owned company (a crown corporation for those familiar with the British system) called Statoil. Using public funds the company established itself in Norway and around the world. Once the company got established it was turned into a public stock company (NYSE: STO). The Norwegian government remains the primary shareholder, however it is a public corporation run by the private sector for profit.

    Venezuela brought in foreign established firms to provide the expertise and capital to exploit the country's natural resources and to aid in the development of the national oil company. Later a more socialist government decided that they didn't like the deal anymore and nationalized the foreign owned assets into the PDVSA, a government run enterprises.

    The result is that Norway's oil industry is well coordinated and on friendly terms with other governments and oil companies. And frequently engages in joint ventures with other oil companies outside of Norway. Statoil is run for profit by via private sector mechanisms providing a good return on investment for the country, and is relatively free of corruption. The country's ownership of the controlling share of the corporation is treated like a long term asset for the benefit of future generations.

    Venezuela has for it's part burned bridges with everyone who had previously invested in the country. Making it hard to expand outside the country, and more importantly attract foreign investment which could provide the expertise that Venezuela lacks. The PDVSA is rife with corruption providing cushy jobs to 'friends of the family' for various political players. The ROI for the people and government of Venezuela is much lower than it should be. And rather than treating it's ownership of PDVSA as an investment (like Norway does with Statoil), they treat it like a cash cow to fund various ill conceived economic plans.

    Norway acted as a sole proprietor in a free market. Venezuela acted like the post-revolution communist governments of the last century.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2014 @12:12PM (#46254741)

    Pre-Chavez, the governments of the day had granted foreign oil companies royalty rates of only 1%. one source:


    Basically, the corrupt pre-Chavez government was giving the oil away to American billionaires, left with nothing for the people. Along comes Chavez and demands that the country gets some revenue for the oil. He then poured this money into development.

    No wonder he is hated by the USA.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer