Amid Venezuela’s acute economic crisis, President Nicolás Maduro decided there was one Very Important Thing he needed to do before dealing with diving oil prices, the subsequent possible 6000 percent rise in gas prices, or the $ 2.3 billion the country is expected to pay to investors by a February 26 deadline. And what was that Very Important Thing? Beating any given relative of yours over 90 years old at discovering what Facebook is.
On February 9, Maduro took to Twitter, a social media platform he somehow knew about (?), to let his constituents know that they were invited to “friend” him on his newly-created page (or, as the translated tweet reads: “I invite everyone to “friend” me on Facebook, which as of today I will use to communicate on a daily basis…”).
Accordingly, thousands of Venezuelan citizens decided to take Maduro up on his offer, using the president’s new page as a chance to express their opinion on his overall leadership. With more than 170,000 followers, thousands of comments have already appeared on his few dozen posts since his first post earlier this month.
While some users left messages of encouragement and satisfaction with the Venezuelan president, others were…not so much. Take this comment left by a Facebook user named Geo Loyal, as reported (and translated) by PRI:
“I refuse to be a hypocrite or a brown-noser, you know that the country is in a bad way, due to your and your cabinet’s ineptitude. You know that the country is at the edge of bankruptcy because, instead of being invested in Venezuela, the capital we did have was stolen. Take some responsibility and do something useful with your life like resigning as president and shooting yourself, because neither you or any of the others from your party are good for anything. Go to hell Nicolas Maduro!”
As PRI also noted, the sudden appearance of a presidential Facebook account is a 180 from the government’s previous stance on social media, which once called Twitter a “tool of imperialist penetration used to lie to Venezuelans.” Then again, this didn’t stop former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez from trolling the Obama administration on the reg until his death in 2013.
Sadly, there is still no word on whether Maduro has seen The Social Network.
Image via Getty.