Chavez Launches Twitter Chat
Comandante 'breaks loose' @chavezcandanga
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2010 4:10 AM CDT
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez gestures during the closing ceremony of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, last week.   (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

(Newser) – Twitter's 140-character limit is going to be a challenge for a president notorious for hours-long speeches. But Hugo Chavez is nevertheless launching his Twitter feed today, striking back against critics who have been using the micro-blogging site to blast the Venezuelan leader. "I recommend you follow that page after midnight, I'll be breaking loose there," Chavez said yesterday before launching @chavezcandanga.

With the Twitter feed, Chavez is stepping up his battle with opponents for control of social media. Frustrated with the president's iron grip on traditional media, many opponents have turned to networking sites to criticize him, and to plan protest events. Chavez has in turn declared the Internet a "battle trench," and vowed to silence online dissent by channeling all net traffic through the state telecom agency, Reuters reports.