Venezuelan president accuses Twitter of attacking account

AFP , Friday 1 Nov 2013

On Friday, Maduro's official Twitter account had 1.4 million followers

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has accused Twitter of attacking his Twitter account and those of some of his ministers as part of a right wing plot.

"We've uncovered a massive attack by the Twitter company and the international right against the accounts of Bolivarian patriots and Venezuelan Chavistas, coming from various parts of the world," Maduro said Thursday evening, accusing the company of removing several thousand of his followers.

A Twitter spokesperson declined comment.

According to the Venezuelan president, the alleged attack was conducted in concert with an alleged movement on social networks to provoke unrest and suspend upcoming December 8 municipal elections.

Communications Minister Delsy Rodriguez said nearly 6,600 Maduro followers disappeared from the president's account in ten minutes, although she did not specify when. On Friday, Maduro's official Twitter account had 1.4 million followers.

Rodriguez also said her own Twitter account had been suspended.

Maduro, the hand picked successor of late president Hugo Chavez, was elected president April 14 over opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who has refused to recognize his 1.49 percent win.

Analysts see the December polls in which Venezuelans will cast ballots for mayors and municipal council members as a key barometer of support for the government.

For months, Maduro has denounced alleged plots from abroad to sow trouble, overturn the government, assassinate members of the executive and aid opposition.

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