Monday, December 03, 2007

The proof of the pudding... in the eating, as they say. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has narrowly lost his referendum bid to expand his powers and remove term limitations. The vote was 49.3% yes, 50.7% no. Chavez has appeared on television to acknowledge the defeat.

The people have spoken. Now is crunch time for democracy in Venezuela. Will Chavez sincerely honour the result, or try to find some sly way to circumvent it? Will democracy survive in fact, or will Chavez simply dispense with it now in the "best interests" of Venezuela — especially when the result was so close? We'll see.

Personally, I've largely supported Chavez and his aims and most of this actions. He's been strong and bold and gone a little beyond the Pale on occasion, but he's still upheld the democratic ideal and has, in my opinion, done an excellent job focusing on leftist principles of improving the lot of the people. So long as he's willing to bow to their expressed wisdom in these matters here, I'm willing to elect him to my personal pantheon of tough fighters for what's right in the developing world... there've been all too few of them in history.

Please, Mr. President... don't let us down now.

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