Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Viva la revolución!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Viva la revolución!

    Take that, capitalist pig-dogs! Chávez wins his referendum by a substantial margin and can continue to go about his reforms of helping the poor in Venezuela.
    Venezuela's Chavez Defeats Recall; Foes Reject Results

    By Carol J. Williams Times Staff Writer

    CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez convincingly defeated a recall effort, election results showed Monday, ending more than two years of efforts to eject him from office in a vote that international observers deemed free and fair.

    On a balcony at the Miraflores presidential palace, where hundreds of his supporters gathered for a celebration as the results were announced about 4 a.m., Chavez proclaimed, "The Venezuelan people have spoken, and the people's voice is the voice of God!"

    Devastated opposition leaders refused to accept the judgment of voters and election monitors, and some said they would seek a recount of Sunday's balloting.

    Despite fears that the results could spark unrest, only small bands of demonstrators took to the streets in protest. The only serious outbreak of violence occurred when presumed loyalists of the president opened fire on an anti-Chavez gathering, killing a 62-year-old woman and injuring several people, Caracas police and opposition leaders reported.

    The rule of the leftist Chavez has left the country deeply divided. Although many poor Venezuelans see him as their savior, the middle and upper classes accuse him of ruining the economy and seeking to impose Cuban-style communism on their oil-rich nation.

    Chavez's time in power has also strained ties with the U.S. American officials have voiced suspicions about his close association with Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Chavez, in turn, has accused Washington of funding opposition groups to oust him.

    According to results released by election officials, 58% of voters supported keeping Chavez in office for the remaining two years of his term. International observers, led by former President Jimmy Carter and Cesar Gaviria of the Organization of American States, urged foes to accept the outcome, deeming the vote free and fair and the outcome consistent with their own assessments.

    "Now it is the responsibility of all Venezuelans to accept the results and work together for the future," said Carter, who led the U.S.-based Carter Center delegation in monitoring the fiercely contested referendum. He said he and Gaviria were urging Chavez and those still bent on driving him out of office to "find common ground on which a dialogue can be established."

    Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, supplies about 15% of U.S. needs. Fears of disrupted supplies in the event of an opposition victory had helped drive prices to historic highs. Word of Chavez's victory helped settle market nerves, with crude oil prices dropping mildly around the world Monday.

    Chavez and his red-clad supporters jubilantly embraced the results as soon as they were announced in the early morning. The tabulation had been delayed because poll hours were extended amid a record turnout of 8.5 million voters. The huge showing overwhelmed a new electronic balloting system, and thousands were still lined up to vote after midnight.

    At a news conference Monday evening, Chavez appeared to reach out to his opponents, saying national reconciliation was needed to build a strong and prosperous Venezuela in which the oil wealth benefits the whole population.

    "My call [to dialogue] is sincere. I'm not being cynical," Chavez said during the four-hour appearance. "This is not just about Chavez, or the government, but a project for the country."

    Outside the palace, Chavistas chanted and waved the yellow, blue and red colors of the Venezuelan flag, filling the rubbish-strewn streets to celebrate their triumph.

    Some spoke of the need to mend the social divide that spurred a coup against Chavez in April 2002, prompted a devastating national strike that cost Venezuela 10% of its gross domestic product last year and culminated in the bitter struggle to stage the recall referendum.

    "We need to reconcile. The opposition needs to get behind the president's social programs because they are good for everybody," said Luisa Flores, an unemployed laborer enrolled in Mission Robinson, a literacy drive that is one of Chavez's key social achievements.

    In an interview with The Times on Saturday, Chavez said that if he triumphed in the recall vote, he would continue programs to improve healthcare and education for the poor. He also said he would move forward with public works projects and job-creation efforts. Without mentioning specifics, he said further judicial reforms might be needed to ensure "social justice" for all Venezuelans.

    William Avila, a photographer waving pictures of his revered president across from the palace, said Chavez's victory should lead to domestic reconciliation as well as improved relations with Washington.

    "This victory is important for the whole world. Now everyone must understand that Chavez has both the experience and the authority to preside over the country," said Avila, enjoying a beer after the noon expiration of a two-day "dry law" invoked to deter public disturbances during the voting.

    But opposition leaders, shocked by a result that sharply contradicted their own exit polling, seemed to resist the call for reconciliation and vowed to challenge the referendum results.

    A noisy group bearing signs declaring, "We want the truth!" and "Down with fraud!" burst into the room at the Gran Melia hotel where the media had gathered ahead of Carter's statement.

    Private exit polls commissioned by the Democratic Coordinator opposition alliance had forecast a 59% vote in favor of the recall, prompting several opposition politicians to denounce the results released by the National Electoral Council.

    "The Venezuelan people are the victims of a massive fraud," said Horacio Medina, a prominent businessman who had spread word of the promising exit polls Sunday afternoon.

    Coordinator spokesman Juan Fernandez said the alliance refused to accept the observers' judgment "because we are convinced we have a fraudulent outcome."

    But Alberto Quiros Corradi, another alliance activist, conceded that an independent review of selected precinct returns by the allied Sumate organization showed that Chavez had defeated the recall.

    However, he remained concerned with the "clear discrepancy" between the outcome and exit polls and planned to request a manual count of paper ballot records.

    Carter, in an interview after his news conference, said he met for more than three hours with opposition politicians and owners of media outlets — a key part of the opposition — early in the morning. He indicated that while businesspeople in the anti-Chavez camp were quietly accepting the results, political leaders were resisting.

    "There's a difference between the private media owners, who told us in advance … that they would accept the Carter Center's view as the final judgment," the former president said. "We have not gotten that" from the Democratic Coordinator alliance.

    Noting that there are "radicals on both sides in every country that don't want to be reconciled," he said that in recent years, opposition leaders in Venezuela have never unequivocally accepted observers' assessments that didn't go their way.

    "They say, 'We know we're right, and if we fail, something is wrong with the system.' "

    In a discussion with Chavez shortly after the outcome of the vote became clear, Carter urged him to "extend the hand of reconciliation" to his opponents and advised that he "not be abusive or gloating."

    Observers acknowledged fears of more violence as long as opponents refuse to accept defeat.

    At his news conference, Chavez appeared more self-confident and less combative toward both his domestic opponents and those in the White House.

    "Hopefully, from this day on, Washington will respect the government and the people of Venezuela," he said.

    In Washington, State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper urged Venezuelan electoral officials "to allow a transparent audit to address any concerns and assure Venezuelan citizens that the referendum was free and fair." He stopped short of accepting the observers' endorsement.

    Earlier, another State Department spokesman said the high turnout marked a victory for Venezuelan democracy. "The importance of this process is ensuring that the will of the Venezuelan people be heard," said Tom Casey. "The idea behind the referendum process and the referendum was to provide for a solution to Venezuela's political crisis that all parties could live with."

    Venezuela's ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, hailed the vote as evidence that the country was "a vibrant and functioning democracy."

    Referring to Chavez's election in 1998, reelection in 2000 and Sunday's voting, Alvarez said, "The Venezuelan people have affirmed, for the third time in six years, that they support President Hugo Chavez and his reform agenda."

    Voters in Sunday's balloting used a complicated new electronic touch-screen system and also underwent digital fingerprinting to prevent multiple voting.

    Waits of eight to 10 hours were common.

    Though I always have my doubts about black-box voting, you have to ask the question. Be honest now...how many American voters do you know that will stand in line for 8 to 10 hours to vote?

    Now that...that's democracy in action.

    ˇHay buenas épocas, en Venezuela hoy!
    I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

  • #2
    The rich of Venezuela and the foreign investors are really suffering man, show some compassion!
    Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JAMiAM
      Take that, capitalist pig-dogs! Chávez wins his referendum by a substantial margin and can continue to go about his reforms of helping the poor in Venezuela.
      (...)
      ˇHay buenas épocas, en Venezuela hoy!
      Thank god i don't have to live in Venezuela.
      Chávez as any other populist (right or left wing) is the worst kind of leader a country can have. Unfortunatelly they are becoming very common these days and not only in North/South America.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well I think its great he won anyway.

        But sometimes he lets the heart rule the head in how he goes about bringing Social change. If he shows a bit more political savvy he should be able to win re election next time.

        Viva Chavez! Viva El Evolution!
        http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, just hope the "opposition" does use the defeat as a start for civil war or coup d'état...
          "A platoon of Chinese tanks viciously attacked a Soviet harvester,
          which was peacefully working a field near the Soviet-Chinese border.
          The harvester returned fire and upon destroying the enemy
          returned to its home base."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mr_clark
            Well, just hope the "opposition" does use the defeat as a start for civil war or coup d'état...
            Hope you mean ''doesn't''?

            Coup is unlikely now as he has support within the Army too, being an ex officer. Also the vast majority of the rank and file are on his side.

            Civil War....perhaps but he needs to reassure the middle classes more. If the economy stays on an even keel then he should be OK.
            http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JAMiAM
              Be honest now...how many American voters do you know that will stand in line for 8 to 10 hours to vote?

              Now that...that's democracy in action.
              This is really impressive... 8 hours, democracy indeed. The bad news is that opposition probably won't accept the results and I think that Chávez himself would have not accepted a negative result. Society in Venezuela seems to be too divided to find a way of agrement.

              So, I don't think the referendum has been good for anything. Both factions will remain in the same position and conflicts will still last... but don't take care of this post. I am just feeling pessimist today
              Cual lidian bien, sobre dorado arzón
              Mio Cid Ruy Diaz, el buen lidiador;
              Minaya Alvar Fáńez, que en Zorita mandó;
              Martín Antolínez, el burgalés de pro...!

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello,

                I was not surprised by the election results. I have always known that Chavez will win anyway. Personally, I feel it's a mistake Venezuela is going to regret for a long time. However, socialism is pervalent in the world, so that's not really surprising to me.

                I wonder if Chavez does mess up in the office, is he going to blame America (as usual) or "evil" capitalists rather than himself and his supporters? Oh well, we will need what Venezuela looks like in two years. Will he be finally voted out of the office or get another term?

                In any case, good riddance to Venezuela. I suppose Venezuelians are entitled to screw up their own country.

                Dan
                Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                "Aim small, miss small."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cheetah772
                  Hello,

                  I was not surprised by the election results. I have always known that Chavez will win anyway. Personally, I feel it's a mistake Venezuela is going to regret for a long time. However, socialism is pervalent in the world, so that's not really surprising to me.

                  I wonder if Chavez does mess up in the office, is he going to blame America (as usual) or "evil" capitalists rather than himself and his supporters? Oh well, we will need what Venezuela looks like in two years. Will he be finally voted out of the office or get another term?

                  In any case, good riddance to Venezuela. I suppose Venezuelians are entitled to screw up their own country.

                  Dan
                  Arn't we all. Well no actually we are not
                  Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mr_clark
                    Well, just hope the "opposition" does use the defeat as a start for civil war or coup d'état...
                    If the opposition would summon hundrends of thousands in the streets, we could say "this man is not wanted by the people, get him down".

                    If Chavez would summon the same amount of people, we could say "the nation wants this man; leave him alone".

                    Unfortunately, both things happened.

                    This situation is much like 1944 pre-civil war Greece: The majority of the population going with a left party, while a big amount of population, supported by the British, wanting a right-wing government. Both groups fiercely trying to win. Boom.

                    I always dislike situations where both the government and the opposition have many loyal and/or fanatical followers. It seems to me that Marxism cannot become true without civil disorders and civil wars.

                    I pray that I am wrong.





                    Viva Chavez! Viva la Revolution!
                    Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by autir
                      If the opposition would summon hundrends of thousands in the streets, we could say "this man is not wanted by the people, get him down".

                      If Chavez would summon the same amount of people, we could say "the nation wants this man; leave him alone".

                      Unfortunately, both things happened.

                      This situation is much like 1944 pre-civil war Greece: The majority of the population going with a left party, while a big amount of population, supported by the British, wanting a right-wing government. Both groups fiercely trying to win. Boom.

                      I always dislike situations where both the government and the opposition have many loyal and/or fanatical followers. It seems to me that Marxism cannot become true without civil disorders and civil wars.

                      I pray that I am wrong.





                      Viva Chavez! Viva la Revolution!
                      Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

                      I wouldn't say Chavez is a Marxist, more like a Peronist really. Of the potential for Civil War exists but it does not have to be. Surely there is enough Oil wealth available in VZ so nobody goes short on life's basics?

                      Cheetah why should it be a worry to you what happens there? The US is not threatened nor are US interests there. Chavez does shoot his mouth off a bit against Uncle Sam but its all Hot Air surely?

                      He needs to sell the Oil to the industrial markets and that means the US has to be involved. The Oil Companies need stability there to invest in infrastructure and so they need a stable government there. So it is in the mutulal interest of both sides not to push it too far IMO.
                      http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wolfe Tone
                        Hope you mean ''doesn't''?
                        Yes of course... :embaressed:
                        "A platoon of Chinese tanks viciously attacked a Soviet harvester,
                        which was peacefully working a field near the Soviet-Chinese border.
                        The harvester returned fire and upon destroying the enemy
                        returned to its home base."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wolfe Tone
                          I wouldn't say Chavez is a Marxist, more like a Peronist really. Of the potential for Civil War exists but it does not have to be. Surely there is enough Oil wealth available in VZ so nobody goes short on life's basics?

                          Cheetah why should it be a worry to you what happens there? The US is not threatened nor are US interests there. Chavez does shoot his mouth off a bit against Uncle Sam but its all Hot Air surely?

                          He needs to sell the Oil to the industrial markets and that means the US has to be involved. The Oil Companies need stability there to invest in infrastructure and so they need a stable government there. So it is in the mutulal interest of both sides not to push it too far IMO.
                          I agree. Chavez made alot of anti-American statements, but has been rather respectful of US investors. It is unlikely that he will take any direct action to hinder the US-Venezuelan business relationship. In fact, the market has also improved after a week of concerns about instability in Venezuela.

                          Of course, Chavez is dealing with the Bush Administration. As George Friedman said a while back, "You've got a team in the White House that is unafraid of world public opinion because they know it is unreliable, self-serving and hypocritical." That kind of confidence and self-assurance can lead to unpredictable responses to Chavez's bullish approach. (Don't think anything will happen, just covering my bases. )

                          Chavez faces many challenges. I don't think ruining his oil business relationship with the west will do anything, but screw him. Chavez could use money obtained from sales to strengthen his political position. That might end up doing more harm than good in terms of stability. Time will tell.
                          "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Chavez is just another smart opportunist -like most of populist leaders are - it's simply amazing how there can still be somebody who actually cheers him believing that people of that kind can effectively help their nation and subsequently the poor people...Chavez is just another Arafat, big rethoric speeches against Western Imperialism and big bank accounts at the Bermuda or in Switzerland
                            Personally the only Third World leader I do really trust and support is the Zapatista subcomandante Marcos, the zapatistas are really fighting for their human rights against a shameful and obscene business government who wants to annihilate them as a people in a sort of ethnic cleansing...
                            Last edited by Wolfdreamer; 25 Aug 04, 09:21.

                            Comment

                            Latest Topics

                            Collapse

                            Working...
                            X