DIARIO PANORAMA DE MARACAIBO, ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS (Venezuela), PERIÓDICO DE CATALUNYA (Spain)
CARACAS - Venezuela awoke Monday to a familiar oval-shaped face splashed across its newspapers and television sets. Hugo Chávez, who has led Venezuela since February 1999, was elected to a fourth term by 54.42 % of voters after a hard-fought campaign against his younger rival Henrique Capriles Radonski.
A record number of voters took part in the election, 13,677,000 or more than 80 % of eligible voters. Capriles quickly conceded defeat, “To know how to win, you have to know how to lose... I ask those who are remaining in power today for respect and consideration for the almost half the country who is not in agreement with this government,” Panorama de Maracaibo reported. “I am forty years old, part of a new generation of leaders… We will go on working.”
Chávez, a former Venezuelan army officer who was first jailed in a failed coup d’état in 1992, then democratically elected in December 1998, has survived 14 years of drama and a coup against his government in 2002. His government has nationalized many companies and ordered price controls on others, as well as firing thousands of people at Venezuela’s national petroleum company when they went on strike against his policies. The nationalizations and Chávez’s warm relations with such countries as Cuba under Castro, Libya under Gaddafi and Syria under Assad, have led to cold relations with the United States, but Chávez is still widely popular elsewhere.
The election results mean that Chávez will now be president for six more years, until 2019. He has spoken of governing “until 2030.” The Catalonian newspaper Periódico de Catalunya has reported that he was treated for colon cancer in 2011. This is denied by the president’s spokesmen.
After his victory was announced, Chávez said, “I ask God to give me life and health to govern the Venezuelan people even better,” according to the Periódico de Catalunya. “Goliath beat David,” summarized Spanish daily El País.
Tweet from Hugo Chavez:
Gracias a mi amado Pueblo!!! Viva Venezuela!!!! Viva Bolívar!!!!!— Hugo Chávez Frías (@chavezcandanga) October 8, 2012
“Thanks to my beloved People! Long live Venezuela! Long live Bolívar!”