Alternative Chavista Website Aporrea Reports Cyber Attack in Venezuela

The alternative Chavista website Aporrea is operational again after almost a week offline due to a string of “intense and sustained” cyber attacks, says the media collective.

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Caption: The alternative Chavista website Aporrea was formed in 2002. (Aporrea)
Caption: The alternative Chavista website Aporrea was formed in 2002. (Aporrea)
By Rachael Boothroyd-Rojas
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Caracas, February 23rd 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) - The alternative Chavista website Aporrea is operational again after almost a week offline due to a string of “intense and sustained” cyber attacks, says the media collective.

Since last Wednesday, users hoping to find their daily dose of alternative news and political debate on Aporrea have been greeted with an error message every time they have attempted to log on to the website. 

In an article published on its re-instated site this week, Aporrea said the issues were due to a “prolonged” DDoS attack which caused an avalanche of traffic and exhausted their “connection network to prevent users from connecting to our server”.

“For this reason, we were obliged to take measures to relocate to another network and to contract an expensive network protection service, which has delayed our re-appearance,” explains the article.  

Aporrea reports that the cyber attack came from “Venezuela, the US, Brazil, China and a European country” and that “hackers motivated by money and power” are responsible.  

“We are still finishing an investigation of the facts in order to be able to provide more details,” continues the article. 

Nonetheless, Aporrea spokespeople have suggested that the cyber-attack may have been a politically motivated attempt to silence Aporrea’s critical leftwing coverage of Venezuelan politics. 

“Why and who is obstructing Aporrea? Who needs to keep it silent? Its working class character, its link to the struggles of the popular sectors, its condition as an open platform for denouncements and the exercise of social auditing… make it uncomfortable and inconvenient for hegemonic forces of different varieties,” reads the statement.  

Following the cyber-attack, academics and political figures took to social media to voice solidarity with the alternative news website. 

“Say what you want, but the site Aporrea is and continues to be an important communicational reference point for popular struggles. It is an important thermometer of national debate… For these reasons, I send support to Aporrea against these constant attacks which it has been suffering,” stated Venezuelan author Emiliano Teran Mantovani on social media. 

Aporrea emerged as an alternative and pro-Chavista news site in response to the media black-out enforced during the short-lived coup against former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in April 2002.  

Its main political backers, the Trotskyist Socialist Tide party, have since split from the Chavista national government under the leadership of Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro. However, it says that it remains a “dissident Chavista” organisation.