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Monday October 08, 2012 21:04 by pat c
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has secured a fourth term in office after defeating Henrique Capriles. There was a turnout of 81% with Chavez securing 54.66% to Capriles' 44.73%..While this was comfortable victory margin it was down from the 27 point lead in 2006. Recognising this Chavez praised the opposition for recognising the election result, and said he was "stretching out my hands and heart on our behalf because we are brothers in Bolivar's homeland".
Chavez addressed his supporters from the balcony of the presidential palace and said: "Truthfully, this has been the perfect battle, a democratic battle. Venezuela will continue its march toward the democratic socialism of the 21st Century. I promise you I'll be a better president."
After the election result was announced, President Fernandez of Argentina tweeted: "Your victory is our victory! And the victory of South America and the Caribbean!"
Comments from around the World.
Hugo Chavez celebrates re-election in Venezuela - Video.
Santiago O'Donnell in Argentina's leftist Pagina12: "There is a rational explanation for the results… Chavez could say without lying while campaigning that during his rule poverty had been halved... illiteracy in Venezuela had been brought to an end and services and political rights had been extended to large sections of the population for the first time. These have been fair, peaceful and well-attended elections."
A Socialist Victory In The Venezuelan Elections
By Billy Wharton
Tonight’s re-election of Hugo Chavez allows this project to continue - it demonstrates that millions of voters in Venezuela continue to support the ideals of a democratic socialism for the 21st century.
The election of right wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles would have meant an immediate end to this process of social transformation. After years of deep disorganization and marginalization, the Venezuelan right-wing has now re-organized itself. It speaks the language of social-democracy while representing the social elements in Venezuela who lustily seek a return to the good old days before Chavez. They have certainly been helped in this effort by the pressure placed on the economy by the global economic crisis, by deep contradictions inside of the Chavez regime and by their deep-pocketed benefactors in the United States.
It was not just the US State Department that was deeply implicated in attempts to de-stabilize the Chavez regime. Mainstream media sources in the US served as virtual mouthpieces for the the right-wing opposition in Venezuela.
Why Chavez Won BIG! A Comparison Between The Presidential Elections In The U.S. And Venezuela
By Mark Vorpahl
According to studies by the U.N.'s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Venezuela ranks first in a list of 12 Latin American countries that have reduced inequalities amongst their members.
In contrast, in the U.S., according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), between the years 2003 - 2005, $400 billion in pre-tax dollars was shifted from the bottom 95 percent to the top 5 percent, costing the bottom 95 percent households $3,660 each. While there was a drop in inequality for a short time after the stock market crash as a result of depleted stock portfolios, it has again accelerated. Since 2010, the top 1% has captured 93 percent of income gains.
When Chavez was first elected president, unemployment was 16.1 percent. Today it has been reduced to 6.5 percent (1) with one of the highest minimum wages in Latin America and food stipends. In contrast, in the U.S., 23 million remain unemployed or underemployed while the minimum wage has dramatically fallen behind the cost of living.
Chávez Victory Affirms Left Still Thriving in Latin America
It was Chávez's third re-election victory in nearly 14 years in office and though the challenge from Capriles seemed to gain steam at times, the election results affirm that a majority roundly support the brand of socialism which has marked Venezuela under his leadership.
"Hugo Chávez’ re-election to another 6-year term shows that Venezuela, like the rest of South America, prefers governments of the left that have improved living standards and greatly reduced poverty and inequality," said Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, D.C.
“Chávez is often portrayed as though he were from Mars, but really the similarities between what he has done and what his neighboring left governments have done are much greater than the differences,” said Weisbrot.
Chavez Wins Venezuelan Presidential Election with 54% of the Vote
A spontaneous street party immediately kicked off in the centre of the Andean city of Merida, and a massive crowd of Chavez supporters began celebrating in front of the presidential palace, Miraflores, in Caracas.
“Venezuela will never return to neoliberalism and will continue in the transition to socialism of the 21st century,” Chavez declared to supporters from the “People’s Balcony” of the presidential palace, after his victory was confirmed. “I want make a recognition to the whole Venezuelan people, the whole Venezuelan nation. Today the country of (Simon) Bolivar was reborn,” added the socialist president, while congratulating the country “for a civic and democratic day”.
The re-elected Venezuelan president also congratulated the Venezuelan opposition for recognising the CNE’s result, saying “they’ve recognised the truth, they’ve recognised the victory of the people”.