Chavez tweets budget moves from Cuba hospital
VENEZUELA: Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, in Cuba for his latest
cancer treatment, has been firing off budget announcements via Twitter,
adding fodder to opposition claims that he is governing by remote
Chavez on Thursday announced $500 million "to equip and modernize the
Marine Corps," $22.7 million for agricultural development, $255 million
for "staff and operating costs" for the communications ministry and $106
million for the production of sugar cane, all via the micro-blogging
Chavez, long a mainstay on state media, has been communicating almost
exclusively via Twitter in recent weeks as he has shuttled to Cuba and
back for several rounds of cancer treatment, fueling speculation over
The president's last public appearance was on Monday, when he signed
a bill on the eve of the Labor Day holiday that would shorten the
Venezuelan work week from 44 to 40 hours.
He then traveled to Cuba for his latest treatment.
The opposition has demanded that the government be more transparent
about Chavez's health and accused him of relying on Twitter to govern
Vice President Elias Jaua came to Chavez's defense on Thursday,
saying that the ailing leader "fortunately" had access to social media
in order to stay in constant contact.
"The president is not governing by way of electronic media, but
reporting the actions of the government," he told local radio. AFP