The president of Venezuela — “Socialista y Antiimperialista” according to his bio — has over 230,000 followers on Twitter. And it seems dealing with a blooming social media presence while running a sometimes unstable nation has proven to be more than Hugo Chávez can handle, so he’s doing as he tends to do: giving it back to the people. And still taking credit!
His account, @chavezcandanga, drew nearly a quarter of a million followers — many of them presumably curious whether the former paratrooper famed for his hours-long speeches could adapt to Twitter’s 140-character limit.
But now he has been overwhelmed with responses and has hired 200 people to help him respond to the more than 50,000 messages he says he has received in just nine days.
Transparency, sort of.
“This is more work for me because I can’t stop replying,” Chávez said during a speech on Friday. “So I’ve taken a decision, such is the avalanche of messages.”
But the whole feed is in Spanish and mine is quite rusty! Translate some of the good replies in the comments, if you’re so inclined? This one maybe — “he” says something about “grandparents.”
Chávez also added:
“I send jokes to some of them,” he said, prompting cheers from his audience of party officials. “That makes me laugh.”
(For the record, Big Hugo follows 5 people, putting him in “baller status” — way cooler than Oprah (20), but not quite Sasha Frere-Jones (0).)