Monday, December 03, 2007
Chavez triumphs in defeat
Hugo Chavez (above) has lost the referendum on constitutional change in Venezuela by the narrowest of margins. So how did the man who the neo-cons would like us to believe is an evil, power-hungry dictator take it? By cancelling the result and declaring the poll invalid? By arresting members of the opposition? By declaring martial law? Er, no.
"I thank you and I congratulate you," Chávez said calmly, referring to his opponents. "I recognise the decision a people have made." Turning to supporters, some of whom were weeping, he added: "Don't feel sad."
In his defeat, Chavez has claimed a great victory. He has exposed the lies of the neo-cons for what they were. Chavez was, and always will be, a committed democrat. Under his leadership, the people of Venezuela have been consulted, by way of a public vote, far more often than the people of Britain and many other countries which claim the moral high ground when it comes to democracy. Chavez is despised by the neo-cons not because he is a dictator, but because he is a democrat, who governs his country in accordance with the wishes of the majority of his people- and not in the interests of global capital. After yesterday's result, and the calm way Chavez accepted it, it's the neocons and their propagandists who are the ones looking even more ridiculous than usual.
UPDATE: You can read The Exile's take on the vote in Venezuela, and what it tells us about the strength of the democratic system Chavez has helped establish, here.