Hugo Chavez defeats Henrique Capriles by hefty margin
Despite an exit poll showing him down to Henrique Capriles in his bid for re-election, Hugo Chavez was declared the winner of yesterday’s election in Venezuela:
Fighting for his political life, President Hugo Chavez overcame a vigorous challenge by Henrique Capriles in Sunday’s presidential election, receiving another six-year term that will give the populist firebrand the opportunity to complete the consolidation of what he calls 21st century socialism in one of the world’s great oil powers.
The victory, announced by the National Electoral Council late Sunday, gave Chavez the win with 54.4 percent of the vote, while Capriles took 44.9 percent. In winning his fourth presidential election since 1998, Chavez captured just over 7.4 million votes to 6.1 million for his adversary, turning back what had been a determined battle by Capriles, a 40-year-old former governor.
Chavez’s supporters, many of whom come from Venezuela’s poorest neighborhoods, took to the streets in celebration last night after he was declared the winner of the race. Capriles conceded that the lost not long after the results were announced.
While many of us watching this race from a far were hoping that Chavez, who, as noted a few days ago, has nationalized important sectors of his country’s economy, would lose the race. However, the result isn’t exactly surprising when it all comes down to it. While not a real threat to the United States, Chavez will still be a thorn in our side.