Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro shared a video of him on Monday rescuing a “disoriented” sloth that had reportedly gotten lost, angering many following the worst humanitarian crisis in the nation’s history.
“This story has a happy ending,” Maduro wrote on Twitter. “We rescued a disorientated sloth. Now it is safe and protected as it deserves. Thank you to everyone who helped with the rescue!”
In the video, a group of young men can be heard praising a mural dedicated to pro-government propaganda, before Maduro arrives and instigates a plan to save a struggling sloth. The mural violates Venezuelan election law as it uses the colors of the flag.
The sloth is eventually rescued by workers who move her into a more natural habitat.
Esta historia tiene un final feliz. Así fue como fuimos en ayuda de una pereza desorientada. Ahora está segura y resguardada como merece. Me llena de dicha poder compartir esto con ustedes. ¡Gracias a todos los que colaboraron con el rescate! pic.twitter.com/GKceRqauUH
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 26, 2018
Maduro’s Twitter account has over 3.3 million followers, to whom he regularly tweets about his presidency and socialist agenda.
Recent examples include photos of him meeting citizens and rallying with groups of supporters, as well as retweeting articles from the left-wing propaganda network TeleSur which portrays him as a competent and popular leader.
— teleSUR TV (@teleSURtv) February 27, 2018
However, most tweets are met with torrents of criticism as Venezuelans express their anger at the country’s dire economic predicament, as well as Maduro’s increasing authoritarianism that has effectively rendered the country a dictatorship.
Such responses may now be illegal under the recently imposed law against “hatred and fascism,” which effectively bans criticism of Maduro and his government.
Last August, Maduro revealed his intention to imprison dissident Twitter users for up to 30 years.
“They went crazy on Twitter. Even with just the tweets that they published is good enough to stick all of them in prison for 30 years,” Maduro said about his critics during a speech on national television. “I am not a dictator, but sometimes I feel like becoming one against those sons of guns.”
Maduro has previously lashed out at Facebook and Instagram for waging a “new war” against his leadership, and accused them of using “methods to reduce my following so fewer people see my videos.”
Government authorities, including president of the fraudulent lawmaking body known as the “national constituent assembly” Delcy Rodriguez, have also warned that social media companies need greater regulation to prevent a tragedy such as the Rwandan genocide, in which radio transmissions urged citizens Hutu Rwandans to kill their Tutsis neighbors.
“We will not allow for the repetition of what happened to Rwanda in Venezuela where over 800,000 people lost their lives thanks to hateful messages on local radio,” Rodriguez said last year, adding that regulation will help “avoid the proliferation of messages calling for hatred, intolerance, and war.”