One Defeat is all you need when it Counts


I have been hoping for it and it finally came and it came when it mattered most. Way to go university students of Venezuela!!! They looked at the issues and decided that they opposed handing more power over to Chavez. Good on them for sticking to his preaching of democracy and giving it back to him in the ballot box. The results were close, 51% to 49%, but the opposition won. This was the first defeat that Chavez has suffered since taking the Presidency in 1998.

Many of the constitutional reforms that were part of the national referendum would have given Chavez power verging on dictatorship. Some of the most disturbing parts of the reforms including the appointment of governors and mayors as well as bringing the Central Bank under the control of the President. These are issues that caused Chavez dissent even among his most ardent supporters, including his former Defense Minister, Raul Baduel.

This single act by the voters of Venezuela may prove to the rest of Latin America that democracy is and can be alive and well. And one day later the fact that Chavez for the moment is accepting the defeat, at least until he can figure away around it, also gives rise to the belief that this may well be the century of the Americas.

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