Venezuelans voted to keep Hugo Chávez in power, securing his fourth term in office. Although the winning margin of Latin America’s charismatic leader was thinner than his past votes, yet he came out victorious with 54 percent out of the 90 percent votes tallied. His rival Henrique Capriles Radonski received 45 percent votes.
The victory of Chavez, Venezuela's socialist President nullified his opponent’s greatest possibility at dethroning him in 14 years and reinforced himself as a strong leader in recent Latin American history.
Shortly after his win, Chávez appeared onto the terrace of the presidential palace and waved to a triumphant crowd.
“My words of recognition go out from here to all who voted against us, recognition for their democratic temperament,” he said, according to the Guardian.
The president, a former soldier, said the election was a “perfect battle.”
Thrilled Chavez followers took to the streets of Caracas to commemorate the success of the man who has the status of a messiah among the poor of the country. Besides, his leftist allies across the region – from Bolivia to Cuba- took a sign of relief on Chavez’s reelection. It is pertinent to mention here that leftists across Latin America depend on Chavez’s oil-funded openhandedness.
A downcast and exhausted Capriles admitted defeat while addressing his campaign control centers.
"I hope a political movement that has been in power for 14 years understands that almost half the country does not agree with it," Capriles told crestfallen supporters, according to Reuters.
Mr. Chávez, who was born to a poor family near Sabaneta, vowed to go forward even more forcefully to craft his edition of socialism in Venezuela in a new 6-year term, even though his assurances didn’t provide details.
Reports suggest that the president’s health remains uncertain. He has continuously been treated for cancer since two years, however, he has avoided making public his heath complications.
Now that the opposition party is brittle with a past of harsh internal strife, particularly after an election defeat, Mr. Capriles will have to keep together this irritable mixture of intra-party factions in order to take advantage of the position they have put on after years of struggle.