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Venezuela: Social Media As a Tool of Democracy

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

February 14, 2018



Media Partner:

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #vzASCOA | @ASCOA

As Venezuela tilts more toward authoritarianism, Twitter is one of the few channels democratizing the public square. The Maduro regime has actively blocked channels for civic engagement and access to unbiased information by censoring reporters and assuming control of major media outlets, among other measures. In this context, social media platforms serve as an instrumental tool to challenge government policies and messaging, galvanize support, and organize protests. Social media platforms are also used to solicit and offer medicines and broadcast the severity of the humanitarian crisis affecting the country. Last November, the Constituent Assembly passed a wide-reaching law that orders prison sentences for up to 20 years for anyone that instigates “hate” on social media and broadcasters. This event will analyze the crucial role that social media outlets have played in Venezuela, particularly Twitter.


This event is part of the Venezuela Working Group (VWG). Please contact Guillermo Zubillaga at for
information on joining or supporting the VWG.

This event is complimentary. Prior registration is required.
You may still register at AS/COA on February 14, starting at 8:30 a.m. 

Not a member yet? Join the YPA or President’s Circle today for complimentary access to this event.

Event Information: Rodrigo Riaza | | 1-212-277-8376
Sponsorship Opportunities: Ana Calderon | | 212-277-8358
AS Individual Membership Information: Beckie Bintrim | | 212-277-8342
COA Corporate Membership Info: Natalia Williamson | | 212-277-8374
Note: To view a list of COA corporate members, please click here.
Press Inquiries:
Cancellation: Please contact Juan Serrano-Badrena at before 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13.

Colin Crowell

Vice President, Global Public Policy & Corporate Philanthropy, Twitter

Colin Crowell is vice president of global public policy & corporate philanthropy at Twitter. Previously, he was senior counselor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, serving as the Chairman’s strategic advisor on a wide range of policy matters. Crowell also served more than 20 years as a telecommunications and internet staffer to U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA). He is a graduate of Boston College with a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in computer science.

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Rodrigo Diamanti

Director, Un Mundo Sin Mordaza

Rodrigo Diamanti founded international NGO Un Mundo Sin Mordaza (A World Without Censorship) with activists in 200 cities around the globe and presence in 52 countries. Rodrigo has created powerful and meaningful campaigns like #SOSVenezuela and #TuVozEstuPoder (Your Voice is Your Power). He received the recognition of the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper in 2012 and by the City Council of Rome in 2013 with the "Medal of Rome" for his actions to improve human rights. Rodrigo graduated from Harvard Kennedy School’s MPA program in 2017.

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Raúl Stolk

Lawyer and Writer; Chairman, Caracas Chronicles

Raúl Stolk is chairman of Caracas Chronicles. He is also editor-in-chief at LexLatin. Previously, Stolk was a partner at the law firm Gallegos & Stolk. He holds a law degree from Catholic University Andrés Bello, and an LLM in Banking, Corporate, and Finance Law from Fordham Law School.

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Daniel Wilkinson

Managing Director of the Americas, Human Rights Watch

Daniel Wilkinson is managing director of the Americas division at Human Rights Watch. He has conducted fieldwork and advocacy throughout the region, and authored reports on human rights issues in Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, the United States, and Venezuela. Wilkinson's writings on US policy toward Latin America have been widely published. His book, "Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala," won the PEN/Albrand Award for nonfiction. Wilkinson is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

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Video: Social Media As a Tool of Democracy in Venezuela

February 14, 2018

Watch a discussion between experts from Twitter, Sin Mordaza, and Human Rights Watch on the power of platforms such as Twitter to document human rights violations in the country....