Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro Saturday argued that Latin America needs to be "liberated" from Twitter after he charged the US-based company of attacking 6,600 accounts including his own.
A computer screen showing the Twitter account of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas on October 1, 2013
"We must achieve independence, and we have to think about deep and radical ways we can free ourselves from multinational corporations (like Twitter) that control social media," Maduro said at a meeting of his ministers.
"Let's prepare ourselves to liberate ourselves from you," Maduro said, proposing to work with Mercosur (the Common Market of the South), Unasur (Union of South American Nations) and the ALBA -- a group of leftist allies of Venezuela -- on how to fight back against the microblog.
Maduro, who has regularly made wild anti-US claims since coming to power this year, said late Thursday that the alleged attack was conducted in concert with 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 10 minutes, though she did not specify when the incident took place. As of Friday, Maduro's official Twitter account had 1.4 million followers.
Opposition figure Henrique Capriles on Saturday asked the president, at a public meeting, why Maduro was more worried by Twitter than Venezuela's almost 50% inflation rate.