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Chavez wins referendum

category international | politics / elections | news report author Monday August 16, 2004 12:18author by venez Report this post to the editors

Blow to the Venezuelan rich and US imperialism

Left populist President and enemy of US imperialism has won a recall referendum win 59% of the vote according to the Venezuelan electoral authority.

According to the numbers, obtained from a tally count of 94,49% of ballots from automatic voting machines, the opposition failed to obtain more votes that those who wanted Chavez to stay. The "no" option obtained 4,991,483 votes representing 58.95%. The "yes" option obtained 3,576,517 votes, representing 41.74%.

Manual count of votes from rural and low income urban areas where Chavez has widespread support, and where automatic machines were not used, could increase the President's margin of victory.

The turnout was huge and unprecedented. Voting was extended twice, voters waited in line at polling stations for up to 10 hours in some cases.

Opposition leaders have refused to recognise the result and have claimed fraud. It is a possibility that a section of the ruling class may attempt a coup in the coming period. However more far sighted sections of the opposition represented by the 'Carter Center' recognise that now is not an oppurtune time for a coup and are willing to wait.

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author by stand strong diego! - (our team may now relax)... [munch an orange]... {don't go near the bathroom}... *we were prepared*.publication date Mon Aug 16, 2004 16:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

has sent a message of sincere respect and support to the President of the bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Hugo Chávez.

Stand Strong Diego!
Stand strong Hugo!
Stand strong Bolivar!

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author by Khalidpublication date Mon Aug 16, 2004 16:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is reported on that Chavez in his victory speech "guaranteed the constitutional rights of all Venezuelans and even the rights of foreign companies to operate in the country."

He is also reported to have stated "My government also guarantees the stability of the oil market".

I welcome the fantastic result of the referendum but I have criticisms of this concilliatory approach taken by Chavez. There is a fundamental contradiction between the interests of the ruling bourgeois class and the interests of the working and poor masses. These differences are in the long run not reconcilable. The bourgeois, backed by US imperialism (including John Kerry and the Democrats) will only respect the democratic mandate of Chavez if it suits them. It is a matter of time befor ethe opposition take up arms to overthrow chavez and implement quasi fascist rule in Venezuela. Chavez needs to move now to counter act them. He has the support of the masses, he should imediately move now to nationalise the banks and large industries (including multinationals), sack the PVDSA corrupt directors and the oppositionists in the army. Now is also time to bypass the capitalist state and establish popularly elected councils with real power. The working masses should also now be armed in order to prevent a coup from the right wing.

These are very important events, we should not hide or criticisms of Chavez now. If he is not going far enough we should say it

author by redjadepublication date Mon Aug 16, 2004 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

more links and info....

author by Albertpublication date Mon Aug 16, 2004 18:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chavez did an interview on CNN at the weekend where he praised the people of Venezuela and played down the importance of armed groups...
He said that following the last coup, the people stood strong and he was restored in 48 hours.

He also outlined the health and education improvements.. 1 million extra people who can have basic literacy skills, and more free healthcare... which would have struck a chord with a lot of CNN viewers in 'pay up or die on the trolley' -land.

Then he said that he liked Americans, who were a good people and did not deserve their current poor leadership...
he also accused Washington of stirring up trouble in Venezuela.

Towards the end he said that Venezuela will not push the price of oil above $50, which many analysts predict may happen before September 30.
This statement, and an expression of willingness to allow continued international investment were basically the "don't bomb us" statements...

He claimed that Wall St. was hoping he'd win, because he is more reliable than the fragmented opposition, and Wall St investors do not like uncertainty (this is very true)

With Venezuela being an important oil producer for the US, the promise to keep Venezuelan oil below $50 may counterbalance some of the desire to violently overthrow the government.
At the same time, the large increase in oil prices, up to $46 means more revenue available to Venezuela.

Denying US firms access to Venezuela, would be labelled as communism, and with CNN and Fox already calling him Castro Jr, the man does have a duty to try to limit incentives for bombing and invading the country and putting in a new Pinochet-type goon.

Those comment s were definitely for US consumption...

author by Dennispublication date Tue Aug 17, 2004 04:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Better luck next time. How long until the coup? How much does a military general cost these days?

author by well donepublication date Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

nice to see that Chavez learnt his lesson - if coups do not work, stack the referendum commission with your supporters - where else in the world would a failed coup leader be held up as a paragon of democracy?

author by Muppet watchpublication date Tue Aug 17, 2004 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To you the prize of the order of muppetdom!!
The Venezuelan referedum has a paper audit trail.
Something you won't see in the US in November. Where else would you see somebody lose an election and still become President?

author by Yossarianpublication date Tue Aug 17, 2004 13:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Obviously not somewhere where a college flunkey, failed businessman, alcoholic, cokehead gets to win the presidency with the help of a dubious decision by the supreme court with less votes than the runner up.
At least when Chavez went for election he won it fair and square.

author by Khalidpublication date Tue Aug 17, 2004 13:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The coments that Chavez made that were concillatory to the opposition and the US that I mentioned were made in his voctoy speech in Caracas NOT on CNN.

The facts are that even if these comments were just for US consumption it stil shows that Chavez believes he can reconcile the interests of the capitalists with the interests of the working people and poor of Venezuela. This is a mistaken belief and has again and again lead to defeat and brutal repression. In Chile in 1973, Allende persued a similar tactic, this eventually saw the brutal murdering of thousands of working people and a smashing of the left in Chile under a semi fascist regime. Chavez needs to learn these lessons - it is pointless to try to reconcile yourself with capitalism - it will only lead to a successfull coup.

What Chavez needs to do is to nationalise the heights of the economy, kickout the multinationals. He needs overide the capitalist state and put these industries (including the media) under the democratic control of the working people. Those elements of the opposition that are in the army and the current state owned enterprises need to be booted out. The mass of people also need to be armed so as to prevent a counter revolution.

If he does ot do this the revolution in Venezuela will be jeopardised. The opposition WILL have more attempts at removing him, they only have to succeed once.

author by Velly Goodpublication date Tue Aug 17, 2004 20:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to Chavez's thugs who gunned down the opposition in the streets as well.

Begin as you mean to go on.

author by Garethpublication date Wed Aug 18, 2004 02:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's convenient how people who accuse hugo Chavez of being undemocratic forget to mention that this referendum is only possible because of the redrafting of the constitution that Chavez himself pushed through.
Also, there is nothing to suggest that the people shot were shot by supporters of the president. In fact, it seems more likely that anti-Chavez vigilantes decided to sow the seeds of fear in the electorate and attempt to bring the election results into disrepute.

author by hardlinerpublication date Thu Aug 19, 2004 16:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He should gun down the rest of them

author by GMpublication date Thu Aug 19, 2004 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why don't you just head off to Caracas and have a yap with Hugo and tell him how to run his revolution and his country. I hear he is a friendly and approachable guy, so you can feed him your patent doctrinaire nostrums and give us a break for a while.

However what Chavez himself had to say is interesting, seems he is grounded in the real world.

"'I don't believe in the dogmatic postulates of Marxist revolution. I don't accept that we are living in a period of proletarian revolutions. All that must be revised. Reality is telling us that every day. Are we aiming in Venezuela today for the abolition of private property or a classless society? I don't think so. But if I'm told that because of that reality you can't do anything to help the poor, the people who have made this country rich through their labour and never forget that some of it was slave labour, then I say 'We part company'. I will never accept that there can be no redistribution of wealth in society. Our upper classes don't even like paying taxes. That's one reason they hate me. We said 'You must pay your taxes'. I believe it's better to die in battle, rather than hold aloft a very revolutionary and very pure banner, and do nothing ... That position often strikes me as very convenient, a good excuse ... Try and make your revolution, go into combat, advance a little, even if it's only a millimetre, in the right direction, instead of dreaming about utopias.'"

(from interview with Tariq Ali at

author by pat cpublication date Tue Sep 07, 2004 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An analysis of polling data from the Aug. 15 referendum in Venezuela to recall President Hugo Chávez indicates that certain forms of computer fraud were unlikely to have occurred during the electronic voting process, according to a study by computer science researchers from Johns Hopkins and Princeton universities.

Groups opposed to Chávez charged that statistical anomalies in polling data indicated that election results were fraudulent. However, an independent analysis of the same data by Edward Felten, professor of computer science at Princeton, and Aviel D. Rubin, professor of computer science, and Adam Stubblefield, a doctoral student, both at Johns Hopkins, did not detect any statistical irregularities that would indicate fraud.

The study and related information are available at

"The opposition's claims that statistical anomalies in the reported results indicate fraud seem to be incorrect," Felten said. "However, this does not rule out the possibility that other types of fraud, which would not have left statistical traces, may have occurred."

The researchers classified the study as a statistical analysis and not a comprehensive investigation or audit of election procedures and documents.

Full story at:

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author by paulcpublication date Tue Sep 07, 2004 18:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A senior election observer, Jennifer McCoy, gives an insider's account of last month's controversial referendum on Hugo Chávez
Others have raised the spectre of electronic fraud in the American presidential election, citing the Venezuelan experience with new touch-screen voting machines.
Missing from those tests was what happened within the black box of the voting machines. Fortunately, the Venezuelan machines were programmed to produce a paper trail: after each vote, a paper ballot was printed, inspected by the voter, and deposited in a cardboard ballot box.

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