Venezuela's Hugo Chavez re-elected

Monday, December 4, 2006

Hugo Chavez Frias, re-elected president of Venezuela for another six years.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been re-elected to a third term in office with a large margin over social democrat rival Manuel Rosales.

The latest report from CNE, National Electoral Council from Venezuela at 10:00 pm local time (UCT -4) gives the current president Hugo Chavez Frias the victory with 61.35% of the total counted so far, 75.3%. His social democratic rival, Manuel Rosales, received 38.39%.

Shortly after the partial results were given, Hugo Chávez appeared on the Balcón del Pueblo of the in the presidential palace to celebrate his victory and address his followers. Chávez announced that a new era has started in Bolivarian development, focused in the expansion of the Bolivarian Revolution. Chavez' followers were already celebrating their victory with red flags in downtown Caracas.

The leftist president who has been a thorn in the side of the American government told his supporters "It's another defeat for the devil, who tries to dominate the world," referring to US President George W. Bush. "Today we gave another lesson in dignity to the imperialists, it is another defeat for the empire of Mr. Danger," Chavez continued.

The US has accused Chavez of being dictatorial and a destabilizing influence in Latin America which Chavez has accused the US of trying to dominate the region and of being behind an attempted coup to force him from power.

Voters wait in line this morning in a polling station in Caracas.

Chavez' popularity is greatest amongst the Venezuela's poor who support his policy of using oil revenues to fund social programs.

"Today a new era has started, with the expansion of the revolution," said Chavez to his supporters promising to continue with socialist policies. "Long live the socialist revolution, destiny has been written" said Chavez who added. "Nobody should be afraid of socialism... socialism is human, socialism is love.... (today) begins a new age... Venezuela, we have proven it, is red" said Chavez in reference to the colors of his political party.

Chavez was first elected in 1998 and was re-elected to a six-year term in 2000. He also defeated a recall election prompted by his opponents in 2004. Chavez is the fourth left-wing leader to win an election in Latin America in the past five weeks.