Voters said no to letting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez rule as president-for-life, in a referendum held over the weekend.
A humbled President Hugo Chavez was left reeling Monday after Venezuelan voters rejected a raft of constitutional reforms that would have allowed him to seek re-election indefinitely.
His defeat in a referendum Sunday was a political earthquake in Venezuela, an unprecedented blow to Chavez's hopes of turning his oil-rich OPEC country into a lynchpin of Latin American socialism.
"Now, Venezuelans, let's put our trust in our institutions," the 53-year-old leftist president said after reluctantly accepting results that showed his changes were rejected 51 percent to 49 -- the narrowest of margins.
This is good news. Frankly I'm surprised that the vote turned out this way, considering Chavez's recent authoritarian impulses (masked as 'socialism' and helping the common man against enemy America). The "Socialist Revolution" has hit its first major roadblock for the Venezuelan leader, a close admirer of Cuba's Fidel Castro and friend of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — all of whom do everything they can to inflame relations with the United States as much as possible. Anyone who still thinks Chavez is good for Venezuela should stop and think for a second; this statesman is nothing short of a dictatorial Castro wannabe.