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Monday, August 16, 2004

Chavez wins!

From the Washington Post:
Backers of the leftist populist president set off fireworks and began celebrating in the streets of the capital in the pre-dawn darkness upon hearing the news from Francisco Carrasquero, president of the National Elections Council.

Carrasquero stopped short of declaring Chavez the outright winner. But vote counts he released showed the firebrand former army paratrooper had a virtually insurmountable 58-42 percent lead, with 94 percent of the vote counted.

Carrasquero said 4,991,483 votes had been cast against Chavez's recall, with 3,576,517 in favor.
There were, of course, immediate charges of fraud from the opposition. Neither the Carter Center nor the Organization of American States, who were observing the election, have given their verdict on its fairness. Bush and Kerry can both be expected to jump on any rumors of fraud as opportunities to bash Chavez for the benefit of the Cubans in Miami.

In any case, tentative congratulations to the people of Venezuela for retaining Chavez. Hopefully it spells the beginning of the end for the crime syndicate known as the FTAA and the terrorist training camp formerly known as the School of the Americas in Georgia. Let's let Latin Americans work in their own best interests, not in those of American corporations.

Much more on Venezuela can be found here and here.