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Following the Saturday, August 25 explosion [en] of the Amuay oil refinery in the state of Falcón, the political climate in Venezuela became even more tense, which was clearly evident on the web. Citizens that support and oppose Chávez, as well as those pleading not to turn the fatal accident into a battlefield, have pushed the tragedy aside in order to talk politics and place blame.
Evelio Román (@sentenciador2) asserts that opposition groups in the country are responsible for the explosion:
@sentenciador2: Asciende a 39 víctimas fatales por incendio en la Refinería Amuay causado por saboteadores criminales escuacas
Esteban Trapiello (@TrapieLLo) asserted that this had been planned ahead of time and is reflected in a video game:
@TrapieLLo En este VideoJuego: MERCENARIOS2: http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2006/05/27/actualidad/1148680801_850215.html … ¡Explota Amuay! ¡Que casualidad! ¡¡¡(Y vean la fecha de la nota de prensa)!!!
César Rebolledo (@cesarurr) wrote on Twitter that this event will take its toll on October 7, in the next presidential elections:
Meanwhile, the political scientist Nicmer Evans presented an analysis in his blog where he states that the Venezuelan opposition is seeking to sabotage the Bolivarian revolution, and that a few careless mistakes inside of the revolution are facilitating the process. He also demands that those responsible be found.
No es sólo que la oposición anda provocando o buscando situaciones extremas para lograr acabar con la revolución bolivariana, es también que las torpezas, descuidos o negligencias a lo interno de la revolución bolivariana pueden estar facilitando el camino para que la oposición se acerque a su objetivo.
On the issue of establishing blame, some citizens are waiting for the results of the investigation and also requesting that the accident not be politicized. Such is the opinion of Oliver Reina (@oliv22), who published on his Twitter account:
@oliv22: Si lo de Amuay fue accidente o atentado lo dirán las investigaciones, pero debe cesar el irrespeto al buscar crédito político de la tragedia.
Others, like Javier Belisario (@javierbelisario), do not approve of how the government acted during the events in the refinery. Javier criticises those who have a different view on the performance of the authorities:
There was also criticism within social networks of the economic support that Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) gives Venezuelan Formula 1 racecar driver Pastor Maldonado. The controversy started when several newspapers published the Report and Accounts for 2011 of the state-run company. Within, PDVSA itself states that it could not carry out maintenance because of the lack of materials.
Broderick Zerpa (@Beisbologo) wrote on his Twitter account:
When President Chávez made a public appearance after the tragedy, the internet response became even more tense. The president on two occasions said that “the show must go on”, after which Naky Soto responded with a post on her blog that “Amuay is not a show that must go on”:
Sólo le advierto que nadie resucitará por la victoria de la patria, que usar a los fallecidos como estrategia de campaña no funcionó; que a pesar de postergar su aparición 38 horas mientras le construían una estrategia idónea, no pudo capitalizar el evento y todo porque ya está desacostumbrado al debate.
Comments were also seen from users that requested unity and rejected the politicization of the tragedy. Rafael Sin Mordaza (@rafavalbuena) requested on his Twitter account that the political propaganda decrease:
In addition, some offered ways to help out those affected by the explosion, and the journalist Floralicia Anzola (@floralicianzola) explained how to help through social networks.
Others lamented the political times in which the country lives, and the political campaign that makes the polarization more evident, comparing it to the behaviour of Venezuelans during the tragedy in the state of Vargas [en] in 1999 when landslides and floods left thousands dead. Nitzia Álvarez (@nitzialvarez) said:
@Nitzialvarez: Creo que el deslave de Vargas nos encontró menos divididos. Parecíamos mejores. Amuay nos sorprendió atrincherados…