Venezuela is comprised of 23 states, a Capital District (Caracas), and offshore Federal Dependencies. Chavez carried 21 states and Caracas. Lead opponent Capriles took Zulia and Carabobo states.
Venezuela's state-of-the-art electoral process shames America's. It's far less susceptible to fraud and identity theft than elsewhere.
Postal and proxy votes are excluded. Fingerprints identify voters electronically. Paper receipts verify ballots cast. They're recorded and available for recounts if needed.
Every candidate was identified by name and full color photo. It helps assure votes are cast as intended. Observers monitored fairness. Opposition supporters turned out in force. They agreed. Voting was open, free and fair.
The Union of South American Nations praised what went on. Mission head Carlos Alvarez said:
"Venezuela has given an exemplary demonstration of what the functioning of democracy is and has taught a lesson to the world."
"Venezuela strengthened democracy in the nation and the region."
Alvarez also praised Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE). He called its work "extraordinary." It's a model to help "achieve the construction of a South American electoral system."
Throughout Sunday, everything proceeded smoothly. No major disturbances occurred. Opposition strategists hoped otherwise. They planned to highlight fraud and other irregularities but couldn't find any.
Capriles had no recourse but to concede defeat. He left unsaid why most Venezuelans spurned them. They need no explanations. Triumphant Chavismo is all that matters.
On January 10, Chavez begins his fourth term. He told supporters he's not waiting. "(F)or me," he said, "the new cycle begins today. We're obligated to be better every day, more efficient, obligated to respond with greater efficiency to the needs of people."
He promised "to be the best president that I have been in these years." Take him at his word. He'll try because he cares. Imagine if US and other Western leaders felt this way and showed it. Perhaps another time in a new era, but not now. Other priorities take precedence.
Beating up on Bolivarianism
If you can't beat 'em, beat up on 'em. Sour grapes postmortems made headlines. Scoundrel media editorials and op-eds featured them.
The Wall Street Journal 's Mary O'Grady is ideologically to the right of many neocons. Her style reflects character assassination. Her rhetoric drips with vitriol. She wins awards for genuflecting to power and suppressing vital truths for power brokers who pay her.