Monday, August 16, 2004

Capital and the comprador middle class in Venezuela go down swinging against Hugo Chavez on the mound. Strike one was the April 2002 coup which was quickly overturned. Strike two was the oil industry strike of early 2003 in which Chavez outlasted the same cast of coup-plotting characters. Strike three was yesterday's referendum, which Chavez won decisively.
President Hugo Chavez survived a popular referendum to oust him, according to results Monday, while Venezuela's opposition swiftly claimed fraud.

Backers of the leftist populist president set off fireworks and began celebrating in the streets of the capital in the pre-dawn darkness upon hearing the news from Francisco Carrasquero, president of the National Elections Council.

Carrasquero stopped short of declaring Chavez the outright winner. But vote counts he released showed the firebrand former army paratrooper had a virtually insurmountable 58-42 percent lead, with 94 percent of the vote counted.

Carrasquero said 4,991,483 votes had been cast against Chavez's recall, with 3,576,517 in favor.
Of course, the liberal New York Times, running the Reuters wire service story as is, put as much emphasis on accusations of voter fraud as on Chavez's victory. Venezuela watchers know, of course, that the Times has long hated Chavez, as they hate anything outside the liberal new middle class consensus, also known as "liberal Republicanism".

Bob Somerby has already demonstrated what shills work the pages of the national American press, so no need to repeat the case here.

Viva Chavez y Viva la Revolucion Bolivariana.

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