Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he's had a phone conversation with his election rival a day after defeating him at the polls.

Chavez says in a message on Twitter that the conversation with Henrique Capriles was "pleasant." He also says that he's calling for national unity that includes, in his words, "respecting our differences."

Capriles campaign manager Armando Briquet notes that this is the first time that Chavez has called the opposition leader by his name. Throughout the campaign, Chavez called Capriles only by disparaging names, among them "the Yankees' candidate," ''the rich guys' candidate" and "the candidate of the past."

Chavez won Sunday's vote by a margin of about 11 percentage points.