Delighted at his cyber success, Venezuela's new Twitter convert President Hugo Chavez on Thursday praised the micro-blogging site and invited Cuba's Fidel Castro and Bolivian President Evo Morales to join.
After several months grumbling that social networking sites in Venezuela were dominated by opponents of his socialist government, Chavez opened his own account this week and was clearly pleased to have gathered 100,000 followers.
The potential this has ... it's not capitalist, it's not socialist, it depends on how it is used, he said after posting two messages on his page @chavezcandanga.
I invite Evo and Fidel, Chavez said. Evo - are you on Twitter? Let's invite Evo to Twitter, Chavez said during a visit to a cattle ranch with Bolivia's president.
Both Morales and Castro are close allies of Chavez and the three men are Latin America's most vocal critics of what they call the U.S. empire.
This has been an unexpected explosion. Thanks, Chavez said in his second tweet. I'm here with Evo. We will conquer!!
Critics of Chavez say he plans to follow Cuba's lead and censor the Internet, a charge the president denies.
I don't criticize anybody, here we are promoting the Internet, he said on Thursday. Internet use has blossomed in Venezuela during his 11 years in power, especially among the poor.
Many Venezuelans laughed when Chavez announced he would join Twitter, wondering how their famously verbose leader, who speaks almost daily for hours on end, will keep to the service's 140-character limit.
Chavez's page name includes candanga, which translates locally as a rebellious or strong-willed person.
(Editing by Vicki Allen)