Hugo Chavez gave a gracious concession speech, putting the lie to all the right-wing slurs of how he is a dictator. Americans looking for dictators should look closer to home. It is amusing to read the ecstatic reaction of the American warbloggers, who haven’t had anything to celebrate in years, and are now treating a Venezuelan referendum result as a vote of confidence for American values. Pathetic.
Immediately after the vote, the international media uniformly reported that Chavez had won the referendum, based on, ahem, exit polls. He was supposed to be ahead six to eight percent. “Pollsters had said a low turnout would favor Chavez, who activated a state-backed get-out-the-vote campaign against an underfunded, fragmented opposition.” The next day, it mysteriously turned out that he lost. The loss was now explained as being as a result of low turnout. We know the Americans have been spending large amounts of money on dirty tricks in Venezuela. Is this another example of the American magic in fixing election results? When Chavez algored, i. e., prematurely conceded, he seems to have been weighing the long-term effects of challenging the result – which would have included a lack of legitimacy for the proposals, as well as possible American retaliation based on his alleged lack of respect for ‘democracy’ – against waiting for another opportunity. Is it possible that the exit polls were right, again, and that Chavez was the victim of an electoral conspiracy?