An analysis of the tweets posted during the recent protests in Chile, reflecting that most foreign accounts supported the demonstrations and a change of government, could bolster allegations that Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua may be behind much of the unrest in Latin America.
The statistical analysis of more than 4 million tweets, conducted by the Chilean company ConnectaLabs, doesn’t focus on the content of the tweets, but indicates that the polarization of messages mainly favored protests and political change or expressed disapproval of the current Chilean government.
ConnectaLabs clearly indicates that most foreign accounts were Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, or Cuban, and its findings coincide with a previous investigation from the Atlantic Council think tank, which showed intense activity on Venezuelan accounts, some of them identified as being sympathetic to the disputed government.
The Atlantic Council study, which studied fewer messages than ConnectaLabs, as it only covered the period from October 16-25, indicated that 20 percent of the Venezuelan profiles that tweeted messages about the protests in Chile defined themselves as Chavista or Bolivarian.
According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, several accounts that actively tweeted pro-Chavista messages in recent weeks made extensive use of hashtags to talk about the main ongoing crises on the continent, such as #ChileResiste (Resist, Chile), #EcuadorEnResistencia (Ecuador in Resistance), or #BoliviaDecide (Decide, Bolivia).
The Cuban digital newspaper 14yMedio, referring to a study on social media, said that Venezuela’s disputed President Nicolás Maduro, the Venezuelan minister of Culture, and TV network Telesur and its journalists use the hashtags #chiledesperto (Chile Awakens), #chilesecanso (Chile got tired), and #lamarchamasgrandedechile (Chile’s biggest demonstration).
One of the most active Cuban accounts encouraging the protests and criticizing the Chilean government is @YanetDCuba, which has also retweeted hundreds of messages from Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, as well as from officials and supporters of the Cuban government, said 14yMedio. According to the online news portal América Digital Noticias, during the protests, the Chilean government identified other hashtags, such as: #ChileViolaLosDerechosHumanos (Chile violates human rights), #LosMilicosNoSonTusAmigos (Security forces are not your friends), #ChileNoQuiereMigajas (Chile doesn’t want leftovers), #RenunciaPiñera (Resign, Piñera), and #ChileQuiereCambios (Chile wants changes).