Monday, December 3, 2007

Chavez Concedes Defeat: Socialism Squashed in Venezuela

By a 51-49 cumulative vote, Venezuelan voters voted against proposed constitutional amendments that would have turned Venezuela's current democracy into a socialist state.

The measures were backed by Venezuelan President (and resident anti-American) Hugo Chavez. Among the proposed amendments were an attempt to abolish presidential term limits, an increase in the presidential term from 6 to 7 years, changes to the national administrative structure, an end to the autonomy of the national bank, and the placement of the President in charge of international reserves.

Basically, it would have granted Chavez incredible power over the nation itself.

Even Chavez stated that these measures were an attempt to turn Venezuela from a democracy to a "socialist republic." Chavez had previously stated that only "traitors" would vote against these amendments.

Chavez admitted that he may have been too ambitious to ask the people of Venezuela to leap into socialism and allow him to run for President indefinitely. Chavez also called for nationwide calm and civility in the wake of the pre-vote violence and protest that had been going on in the days leading to yesterday's elections.

President Chavez was also contrite enough to state that this vote has taught him that "Venezuelan democracy is maturing", and that his respect for the vote means he's a true democratic leader (well, that last part remains in doubt). Chavez's current, and final, term is up in 2012.

Nonetheless...score one for democracy and freedom!

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