Venezuela President Hugo Chavez was re-elected on Sunday to another term as president. The victory by Chavez was his fourth since taking office nearly 14 years ago and gives his self-proclaimed socialist revolution six more years in power. The win was his closest and toughest since his first win in 1998. This time he had to overcome a bout with cancer and his most popular challenger to win.
With close to 99% of the votes counted, Chavez was leading his challenger 54% to 45%. Henrique Capriles, Chavez’s opponent and a former governor from Miranda, conceded the election Sunday night. Throughout Caracas, the capital city, fireworks went off in celebration of the Chavez victory. Later Sunday night, people took to the streets to dance and party.
Chavez appeared later Sunday night in front of screaming supporters to thank the 8 million Venezuelans who had voted for him. He said all 8 million votes were votes for the socialist revolution.
The former military paratrooper was able to solidify his support by using the money earned from tapping into the world’s largest set of oil reserves and financing increased healthcare, housing and food for the poor throughout the country.
Approaching the election, many polls had Capriles in a very tight race with Chavez, with one poll even predicting a Capriles victory.
Chavez has had three surgeries for his cancer and people are starting to wonder whom Chavez would he have take over if or when he no longer can govern. He has not mentioned any one person he prefers to take over for him if that were necessary.