Chavez Governs via Twitter

Chavez takes to Twitter for international relations, soccer talk
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 22, 2011 10:25 AM CDT
FILE -- IN a July 4, 2011 file photo Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez raises a fist as he holds a copy of a Venezuelan newspaper at the Maiquetia Airport near Caracas, Venezuela. Chavez is using Twitter...   (Ismael Francisco)
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(Newser) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is using Twitter as a tool to govern remotely while he undergoes cancer treatment in Cuba. In more than 40 messages this week on his @chavezcandanga account, he has approved money for a Caracas trash collection project, praised plans for a new park, and cheered on the national soccer team. Chavez hasn't mentioned his chemotherapy specifically, but has alluded to his personal battle time and again, as he did in one tweet to a supporter on Tuesday: "We're moving along here, brother! With God and the Virgin!"

Most of his messages have had the tone of a patriotic father figure connecting with his public. Chavez boasts more than 1.8 million followers, and his messages also regularly pop up on the screen on state television in Venezuela. The 56-year-old underwent surgery in Cuba on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumor. He hasn't said what type of cancer has been diagnosed or specified where exactly it was located, saying only that it was in his pelvic region. He says chemotherapy is necessary to ensure cancer cells don't reappear.

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