Glad to see the people of Venezuela smartened up, and realized that Chavez is loco..........until Chavez declares that the voting machines were vandalized, and he really won, and declares his dictatorship for life............Seig Heil.......
Yes, Howie, that's exactly what happened. Anyway...
Venezuelans did narrowly reject the referendum that would have eliminated term limits (by the way, that's all the referendum called for, the elimination of term limits -- he would not have been put in power indefinitely, he would still have had to run for re-election at the end of each term, like in the United States for the first 180-plus years of its existence). And that's the end of the story.
"From this moment on, let's be calm," Chavez declared. "There is no dictatorship here."
There is no dictatorship that disrupted the elections, and there would have been no dictatorship had the vote gone the other way. It's a thing right-wingers like Howie don't understand: it's called democracy.
Of course, spinmeisters in the US State Department make the result of this referendum look like the hope of all future democracy in Venezuela:
"Clearly this is a message from the Venezuelan people that they do not want any further erosion in their democracy and their democratic institutions," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington.
...conveniently forgetting that Chavez has been twice elected, once returned by popular support after surviving a (US supported) coup, and won a recall election. In other words, it has been the triumph of democracy, like it or not, that got Chavez to the place where he could lose even lose a referendum to eliminate term limits and be re-elected as many times as Franklin D. Roosevelt (who we could use right now).
In the meantime, Chavez still enjoys broad powers that the voters gave him in previous referenda (unlike the broad powers that the Bush administration have assumed unconstitutionally and without so much as a "MayI?").
So, Howie, and all your right-wing friends: