He was on the brink of becoming a dictator. But he was stunned by the throngs of Venezuelans who didn't want this to be the last time they voted.
Let's let has beens be has beens. He never deserved to lead any country, but some how he propagandized his way to the top. Let's hope the fall is just as mercurial. I keep seeing in my mind the equivalent of a Saddam statue falling off its pedestal--over and over again, and I like it.
God bless the people of Venezuela. They can yet solve the rich-poor divide that keeps so many of them mired in poverty, but they knew that there were better ways to accomplish the task than by succumbing to Tin-Horn Hugo's strong-arm socialism.
Jimmy Carter was there in elections gone by and said that there wasn't a hint of impropriety. Too bad he wasn't there this time to call for a re-do!
The military's position was reflected Saturday in a New York Times op-ed in which the ousted defense minister, Gen. Raul Baduel, opposed the referendum as "contrary to human nature."
Too many people knew the truth, and unlike other suspect Venezuelan elections, any lie couldn't be hidden.
The official count shows Chavez losing 49 to 51, but the empty poll stations around the slums of Caracas suggest a wider spread. Abstention in Chavez strongholds was as high as 44%, and an estimated 500,000 followers stayed away while the opposition, led by Venezuela's courageous students, defeated the 69-point proposal.
Small wonder. The constitutional "reforms" that Chavez wanted would have extended his presidency indefinitely, letting him handpick local overlords, exact revenge on media critics and confiscate private property at his whim.
Even the dimmest of Chavista voters could see that a successful referendum would likely mean the last time they would ever vote. Shantytown dwellers who form Chavez's political base had repeatedly expressed fear that their hovels could be taken away.
Ding dong, another wicked witch is dead. I hope...