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Chavez re-elected with over 54% of the popular vote

Translated Monday 8 October 2012, by Harry Cross and reviewed by Bill Scoble

Hugo Chavez has received a new 6 year mandate from the Venezuelan people with the aim of continuing his socialist revolution. In Caracas, sympathisers of the left are singing and dancing in the streets, feeling they have won a victory in defiance the established world order.

The surroundings of the presidential palace of Miraflores in Caracas continue to be flooded with people. Partisans of the socialist revolution, donning red t-shirts and clasping Venezuelan flags are openly expressing their joy. “The revolution cannot be stopped!” cried a delighted Maria Bermudez, a teacher from the north of the country, “Chavez always had my vote to continue the revolution. I have come here because I am part of this struggle!” Having come by foot with his son, Alfredo Salcedo, a 32-year-old public functionary exclaimed “How can one not thank him, how can one not be for the revolution?”

The declaration of Chavez’s comfortable victory, with 54.42% of votes against 44.97% for the right-wing candidate, was a great relief to workers, but also all of the Latin American left. The past few days leading up to the election saw a systematic process of vilification and misinformation targeted at Chavez the world over. He was presented as moribund and authoritarian, opposing “young and dynamic Henrique Capriles at the head of a centre-right coalition.” That the electoral process was beyond reproach, without disturbances and no possibility of electoral fraud, is a cruel disappointment for commentators of the morning after.

This state of affairs is what makes Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Ignacio Ramonet say that “Hugo Chavez is without doubt the most vilified head of state in the world […] a political leader should be judged by his actions, not by rumours peddled against him. Candidates always make promises to get elected; rare are those who, once elected, keep them. From the very beginning, the electoral promises of Chavez have been clear: to work for the profit of those live in poverty and who form a majority of the country. And he has been true to his word.” Read here the full text of the dispatch (in French).

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