With his popularity dented by a recession and soaring inflation, the Venezuelan leader has often been outmaneuvered by opponents more active on the web than his supporters. Public Works Minister Diosdado Cabello, announced on Monday that Chavez supporters planned to "storm" social networking sites.
After he promised to "let loose" on Tuesday, a Spanish-language tweet duly appeared on his new chavezcandanga account 14 minutes after midnight:
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!!
"The opposition thinks it owns the social networking sites - they think Twitter and Facebook belong to them," Minister Cabello said. "We're fighting and there are seven million of us who will have Twitter," he declared, referring to the membership claimed by Chavez's United Socialist Party.
By the next day, the leftist leader had only 29,000 followers on Twitter.
Twitter has seen an explosive rise in usage in Venezuela to more than 200,000 active accounts. With growth of more than 1,000% in 2009, Venezuela now has one of the highest rates per capita of users of Twitter in Latin America.