Hugo Chávez’s personality was made for Twitter. Venezuela’s president, whose death was announced today, often posted several times a day and engaged with followers from Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to citizens of his country.
In May, his 3 millionth follower, Natalia Valdivieso, received a house in return. She was just 17 years old when Chávez handed over the keys to the home on Margarita Island, thanking her for her support.
Chávez’s last tweets resolved to keep fighting and were uncharacteristic because they, finally, alluded to illness. Questions about his health lingered through much of his tough campaign for the presidency this past summer and fall. His initial cancer treatment in Cuba was largely unexplained. Later, he insisted he was fully recovered. But after a curious absence from Twitter after November, Chávez returned with three final tweets, all on Feb. 18. He refers to “treatment.” He thanked the people and doctors of Cuba, along with Fidel and Raúl Castro, for hosting him. And then his final words:
I’m still clinging to Christ and trust in my doctors and nurses. Until victory always! We’ll live and we’ll win!