Monday, November 24, 2008

'Popular' Chavez Loses Key Races

Depending on the media sources you check, Hugo Chavez either remains hugely popular and won big in nationwide votes Sunday or his grip on power is slipping.
Venezuelan opposition parties won races for mayor of Caracas and governor in at least three states, beating President Hugo Chavez’s candidates four years after his coalition took near total control of regional governments.

Chavez’s Venezuelan United Socialist Party, or PSUV, was upset by the opposition in Zulia and Miranda, the country’s two most populous states, and may lose two more states when final tallies are published, according to results announced by the National Elections Board. The president, whose candidates won 21 out of 23 state elections in 2004, still controls 17 governorships.

“We’re committed to this city and to the most poor,” Caracas mayor-elect and opposition leader Antonio Ledezma said after hearing the results. “To the president of the republic I have a message: You and I have many differences, but I invite the president to work with us to save Caracas.”

The opposition’s wins today are a blow to Chavez’s drive to centralize control of the oil-exporting country. While the president remains popular among poor voters, accelerating inflation, rising crime and a plunge in oil prices have caused voters to question his socialist political agenda.
Despite these setbacks, CNN, naturally, says Chavez passed the test.

The Wall Street Journal says results were a sharp rebuke of Chavez.
Delivering a sharp rebuke to the decade-long presidency of Hugo Chávez, Venezuelans elevated opposition candidates into key governorships during closely watched elections across the nation.

The result is a dramatic reversal for Mr. Chávez, who won all but two governorships in voting just four years ago. This time, Chávez opponents clinched races in some of Venezuela's most important regions -- including Miranda state and the Caracas federal district.

By placing much of the nation's population and economic power under opposition control, the outcome restricts Mr. Chávez's ability to push his self-styled Socialist revolution-including a bid to extend his presidency indefinitely.

"Now is the time for true change," said Antonio Ledezma, who won in the Caracas federal district, as fireworks echoed through the city.
These results must be very disappointing for the good friend of the revolution, Bill Ayers.

Meanwhile, Chavez is deepening ties with Iran and conducting military exercises with Russia. Sure doesn't look as if this thug plans on going anywhere.

The Devil's Excrement has analysis.

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