Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, has just celebrated another comfortable election victory which will cement his status as one of the dominant figures in modern Latin American history.
A record 80 percent of the population voted in the elections, helping Chavez’s claims of democratic rule, despite critics who claim he is an autocrat who bullies private corporations and silences political foes.
Tens of thousands of supporters hit the streets to celebrate Chavez’s victory over his opponent Henrique Capriles, which he achieved by 1.5 million votes.
From the balcony of the presidential palace he shouted to his supporters, “this has been the perfect battle, a democratic battle. Venezuela will continue along the path of democratic and Bolivarian socialism of the 21st century.”
Chavez was humble enough to concede the growing strength of his opposition, and declared to the people, “I promise you I'll be a better president. Today we start a new cycle of government, in which we must respond with greater efficacy and efficiency to the needs of our people.”
Witrh the elections won, the world will now wonder what Chavez will do next. Following his landslide victory in 2006, he nationalised telecommunications, electricity, and oil sectors. Some worry that he could now do the same with banking, food, and health industries.
Although any of these speculations can never be to certain because any recurrence of the cancer which has plagued him recently, could void any plans he makes. The Venezuelan constitution states that if any president steps down during the first four years of his six year term, then the elections must be held again, leaving room for Capriles or another politician to run for office.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com