140 Characters

Hugo Chavez Tweets

Does anyone smell brimstone on the intertubes? Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has joined the Twitter community under the sobriquet chavezcandanga, a name that incorporates a word that refers to the devil in much of Latin America, and used to mean a punishment as severe as hell in Venezuela. And chalk one up to the Internet: The famously verbose leader now has to cut down hours of speechifying into 140 characters. His first tweet, at midnight Tuesday, said in Spanish, "Hey how's it going? I appeared like I said I would: at midnight. I'm off to Brazil. And very happy to work for Venezuela. We will be victorious!!" Chavez's new Web presence—he already has more than 23,000 followers—is no doubt a bid to fight back against technologically savvy opposition as his ratings have plummeted thanks to a recession and inflation.