Monday, October 8, 2012

Chavez wins again, declares: "I promise you I'll be a better president."

Hugo Chavez: "I promise you I'll be a better president."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez scored a comfortable election victory Sunday that could extend his rule to 20 years. And he vowed to deepen his socialist revolution that has polarized the South American OPEC nation.

International media reports from Caracas say tens of thousands of ecstatic supporters thronged the streets around the presidential palace in downtown, "pumping fists in the air and shouting Chavez's name after the former soldier beat opposition candidate Henrique Capriles by more than 9 percentage points".

He won 54.4 per cent of the vote, with 90 per cent of the ballots counted, compared with 45 per cent for Capriles. More than 80 per cent of registered voters cast ballots. It was nothing close to the massive landslide of 2006 when Chavez won by 25 percentage points.

The new six-year term, which begins on January 10, 2013, will let Chavez consolidate his control over Venezuela's economy, possibly by extending a wave of nationalizations, and continue his support for left-wing allies in Latin America and around the world, the Reuters news agency reporter.

"Truthfully, this has been the perfect battle, a democratic battle," Chavez declared, holding up a replica of the sword of independence hero Simon Bolivar. Venezuela will continue along the path of democratic and Bolivarian socialism of the 21st century," he pledged.

"Today we start a new cycle of government, in which we must respond with greater efficacy and efficiency to the needs of our people," he said. "I promise you I'll be a better president."

Supporters chanted, "Chavez, the people are with you!"
Chavez is a retired lieutenant colonel who first won fame with a failed 1992 coup. A decade-long oil boom has given him tens of billions of dollars for social investments that range from free health clinics to newly-built apartment complexes, helping him build a strong following among the poor.

Commentators say Chavez could now order new nationalizations in some largely untouched corners of the economy, including the banking, food and health industries. After his victory in 2006 he took over the tele communications, electricity and oil sectors.

A few months ago it looked like Chavez was nearing the end of with cancer threatening his life. But three operations in Cuba restored his health - for now at least. 

"I gave it my all and I'm proud of what we built," Capriles told supporters at his campaign headquarters. "I will continue to work for Venezuela."
Chavez used the state resources to help his campaign, including state television which carried "chain" broadcasts that forced other local television stations to carry his political speeches. He also handed out homes and pensions, while warning that the opposition would cancel such programs.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai