On the challenges that social networks impose on our peoples and the story about the reality that large media corporations build globally, the Sector Vice President of Communication, Culture and Tourism of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Freddy Ñáñez, spoke today with students of international relations and professionals of the press in Cuba.
The also Minister of People’s Power for Communication and Information offered a keynote address on these issues at the “Raúl Roa García” Higher Institute of International Relations. He was accompanied by the rector of the academic institution, Rogelio Sierra, and other directors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Understanding the influence that information technology and communications exert on the state of opinion of societies, fundamentally digital media and social networks such as Twitter and TikTok, is essential for those of us who do political communication in our countries.commented.
Events such as the media coup d’état in Venezuela 20 years ago showed us that we live in a time of semiotic war, in which “the truth” is constructed and imposed on us by the media, he added.
According to Minister Ñáñez, at this time we are subject to a media coup on a global scaleto the application of an unconventional war manual or also called a soft blow, through which the organic functioning of the towns is studied and the appropriate campaigns are designed to “discipline them”.
It is about, he said, the power exercised through the construction of stories that we cannot verify and the impersonation of reality, “of the so-called psychopolitics.”
The minister explained that through social networks empathy is created (empathic societies) and reality is depoliticized. “Suddenly, the scandal of the American actor Will Smith at the Oscars occupies more headlines than the war in Ukraine and becomes a trend.”
He warned about a retreat towards “the infantilization of society”, where any photo, comment or banal gesture is instantly celebrated and, even, “those who do not celebrate it can be blocked”.
There are swarms of haters, of permanent blockers, where the discourse contrary to the dominant script is tried to silence. It is the dictatorship of the algorithm. And, who dominates the algorithm?commented.
Countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, excluded from the “pseudo Summit of the Americas”, have the challenge of gaining technological and communicational sovereignty, he said.
We live in a world anchored in the exploitation of freedom, where not having social networks is analogous to not having a curriculum in the 20th century, to not having existence, he pointed out.
Social networks like Twitter were the ones that regulated our language by establishing character limits, the ones that forced us to apply the economy of language and thought, “indoctrinated to respond to the algorithm”, in that digital world where the paradigm is ephemeral and superficial, images empty of content, he delimited.
According to the Bolivarian leader, the project of the dominant communication machinery in the world now is not that we all think the same, but that we no longer think, which they are achieving through excessive information, most of it unverifiable.
In the opinion of the minister, We are therefore called to elaborate a theory of communication that makes us sovereign, that guarantees a cultural and informative consumption with content, creating awareness.
While in countries like Venezuela and Cuba we carry out peace diplomacy, through formal channels, “counterdiplomacy is done for us by TikTok,” he commented, assuring that Cuba defeated the machinery of Hollywood and the big media for more than 60 years, by what without a doubt will be able to defeat the campaigns that are made against him through social networks.
Today a battle is being waged not for the truth, but for the right to have a voice in an increasingly digitized world, he concluded.
Ñáñez is also a philosopher, journalist, poet, editor, and serves as president of Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), the main state news channel.
His experience in political communication issues and his literary publications have earned him several awards, including the National Book Award (2005) and two prizes in the poetry genre.
The Venezuelan minister was received this Wednesday by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, a meeting in which they reaffirmed the ties of brotherhood, solidarity and cooperation between the two peoples and governments, as well as the common will to continue strengthening them.
We reaffirm the bonds of brotherhood, solidarity and cooperation between our peoples and governments, as well as the common will to continue strengthening them. pic.twitter.com/tJGLCzpA6h
– Bruno Rodríguez P (@BrunoRguezP) May 4, 2022