Monday, December 03, 2007

Venezuela rejects Chavez, "for now"

From The New York Times:

CARACAS, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 3 — Voters in this country narrowly defeated a proposed overhaul to the constitution in a contentious referendum over granting President Hugo Chávez sweeping new powers, the Election Commission announced early Monday.

It was the first major electoral defeat in the nine years of his presidency. Voters rejected the 69 proposed amendments 51 to 49 percent.

The political opposition erupted into celebration, shooting fireworks into the air and honking car horns, when electoral officials announced the results at 1:20 a.m. The nation had remained on edge since polls closed Sunday afternoon and the wait for results began.

The outcome is a stunning development in a country where Mr. Chávez and his supporters control nearly all of the levers of power. Almost immediately after the results were broadcast on state television, Mr. Chávez conceded defeat, describing the results as a “photo finish.”

“I congratulate my adversaries for this victory,” he said. “For now, we could not do it.”


Given that he had been saying that only "traitors" would vote no on his "make me dictator for life" package of amendments I am surprised that Venezuela isn't currently under martial law while the soldiers and police round up the "traitors".

What this likely means is that Oo-go has given up on even the pretence of democracy and will soon implement his "reforms" at gun point.

He really won't have much choice. The oil fields are falling into disrepair because he has chased away their competent management and refuses to reinvest any of the oil revenue into maintenance. Oil production is consequently falling along with oil revenue and wealthy Venezuelans (you know the people who actually know how to run businesses and make an economy work) are moving their assets, and themselves, out of the country.

Very soon the little thug won't have the cash to fund the various socialist giveaways that are currently buying the loyalty of the illiterate peasants who are his base of support.