Voters in Venezuela passed a referendum to end presidential term limits on Sunday, allowing President Hugo Chávez to run for re-election.
Venezuela had rejected a similar measure about 15 months ago.
Moisés Naím, editor of Foreign Policy and a former minister of trade and industry in Venezuela before Chávez came to power, joins Martin Savidge to discuss the possibility of Chávez getting re-elected when his current term is up in 2013, how oil prices will impact the election and how the Obama administration should deal with Chávez.
Below, read what bloggers in Venezuela had to say about the referendum and the country’s future.
A blogger at “Caracas Chronicles” describes the scene at one polling station:
We’re leaving the polling center. Tibi gave the results and Chavez is shouting the national anthem on the radio. Everyone is in a commotion because a motorcyclist has just been shot in the head and killed near this polling station. His name was Ismael and it seems many people knew him.
Before I left, I told one of the Chavista, member of the mesa, that I was afraid that today we gave a blank check and too much power to a single guy, and that they day they wanted to change presidents it could be too late. Her reply: “el pueblo es sabio y paciente, nosotros sabremos pasar factura”. I sure hope so.
Blogger “Daniel” in Venezuela voices his disappointment with the results:
Venezuela has voted for an unacceptable type of politics. As such it has proven that a large majority of its people does not believe in democracy […] The novelty tonight is that as of now this is a permanent chasm, a profound division of the country that cannot be solved through democracy alone.
[…]The soft language of the opposition that “we agree with Chavez social programs but we can run them better” is never going to work. Today it has reached its limit.
Blogger “Julia” in Caracas strikes a more resigned tone:
The nasty purple finger confirms that I already voted, a few hours ago to be exact. I “voted” on some “elections” I never asked for, in front of an Electoral Institution I do not trust. But it is done.