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Nicolas Maduro won another six-year term overwhelmingly by a two-thirds majority – far greater than polls predicted, turnout disappointing at less than 50%.
His main adversary, Chavista turncoat Henri Falcon, fared much poorer than predicted with around 21% of the vote.
Businessman/evangelical pastor linked to the Panama Papers tax haven scandal got only about 11% support.
Addressing a late Sunday night crowd of supporters, Maduro hailed his triumph as a victory over “imperialism,” saying:
“How much have they underestimated our revolutionary people, and how much have they underestimated me. And here we are victorious,” adding:
“It has been a heroic, beautiful, popular victory forged in the struggle. I’m the president of all of the Venezuelans. I call for a dialogue process. Permanent dialogue is what Venezuela needs. The revolution is here to stay!”
Scores of international observers from 30 countries monitored Sunday’s elections, including former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, saying:
“I do not have any doubt about the voting process. It is an advanced automatic voting system. I come here to keep the peace, coordinate and promote dialogue to improve the democratic mechanism here,” adding:
“What I need to do here is to see whether people can cast their ballots at their own discretion. Now we all see how people vote, don’t we?”
Other international observers called Sunday’s vote open, free and fair, the atmosphere calm, no incidents reported, no irregularities other than minor ones corrected.
Venezuela’s democratic process is the world’s best by far, polar opposite America’s money-controlled system, one-party rule with two right wings, serving privileged interests exclusively, steadily eroding social justice, heading toward eliminating it altogether – planned demise since the neoliberal 90s.
The Trump administration rejects the result of Venezuela’s election, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told reporters, adding sanctions on the country’s oil industry may be imposed, saying “(t)hey are under active review.”
Falcon rejected his overwhelming defeat,