He might not be in the realm of Gaga or Bieber, but Fidel Castro is making his own Twitter mark: he’s reached and surpassed the 100,000 follower count. Not bad for a former leader of a country with the lowest internet penetration rate in the Western Hemisphere.
If you speak Spanish, you can follow Fidel Castro at @reflexionfidel. The account posts the former leader’s “reflections” on the current state of affairs in Cuba and internationally. The account usually links to a longer piece published by Castro on the state-run news website CubaDebate.
Although this Twitter account isn’t verified, it’s linked to from CubaDebate and is, by all signs, the official Castro account. However, officials have noted that the man himself does not tweet, but instead gets a team to tweet for him. The ideas are all Castro, though.
Just yesterday Castro flew past the 100,000 follower count and now sits at about 102,000. According to CBSNews, CubaDebate claims that Castro’s account is the largest in all of Cuba, but notes that a vocal political dissident Yoani Sanchez currently has about 110,000.
According to the latest data from the World Bank, Cuba had 1,450,000 internet users in 2008 – which , out of a 2009 population estimate of 11,239,363, is about 1.3%. So reaching 100,000 followers is really nothing to sneeze at.
However, it doesn’t compare to Castro’s good friend Hugo Chavez, who has over 1,200,000 followers and appears to update the account himself, at least some of the time. And then there’s the number one politician on Twitter, Barack Obama, who has more than 6,800,000 followers.