Monday, December 04, 2006

Chavez wins!

Once again, he takes it by landslide, with over 60% of the vote. One taxi driver passing through a wealthy area of Caracas told the BBC: "People round here do not know what it is like in the slums. It is a bigger party than New Year's Eve." You can listen to a report from a couple of Green Left Weekly correspondents and hear the victory celebrations here. Chavez said in his victory speech:

"Long live the socialist revolution! Destiny has been written ... We have shown that Venezuela is red! ... No one should fear socialism ... Socialism is human. Socialism is love ... Down with imperialism! We need a new world! It's another defeat for the devil, who tries to dominate the world ... Down with imperialism! We need a new world!"

Oh yeah - you know it. The axis of hope is here to stay.

The recent victory for the radical economist Rafael Correa over his bland, puff-faced, bible-clutching, millionare rival Alvaro Noboa, who you would think would have learned from his crushing defeat in 2002, has compounded the recent tidal wave to the left in Latin America. The sell-out by Lucio Gutierrez, who had himself stood as a supporter of the Bolivarian revolution in 2002 and won handsomely before breaking his pledges and supporting the Free Trade Area of the Americas, could easily have demoralised people sufficiently that the left would lose massively, but Correa's promises to oppose the FTAA, close down US military bases, redistribute wealth and renegotiate oil contracts were enough to give him 57% of the vote.

All these countries turning left should form a Bolintern and invite left parties from across the region and elsewhere to become members.