The Venezuelan president and Bolivarian Socialist has won.
First, a video report from euronews:
The story from Jonathan Watts and Virginia Lopez of The Guardian:
Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez has once again defied his doubters by winning a new term of office in this Sunday’s presidential election after what had been billed as the closest race of his political life.
To the euphoria of supporters in and around his campaign headquarters, the National Electoral Council announced the president had secured 54.4% of the votes, while his rival Capriles was behind with 44.9%. Some votes were still to be counted, but the council said the result was not in doubt.
Chávez tweeted, “Thank you, my God. Thanks to everyone. Thanks my beloved people!!! Viva Venezuela!!!! Viva Bolivar!!!!!”
As the result was announced, his supporters burst into cheers and songs of “Viva Le Patria” and “Ooh Aah, Chávez won’t go.”
More from William Neuman of the New York Times:
Shortly before 11:30 p.m. local time, Mr. Chávez stepped out onto the balcony of the presidential palace in Caracas and waved to a sea of jubilant supporters. “My words of recognition go out from here to all who voted against us, a recognition for their democratic temperment,” he said. A former soldier, he called the election a “perfect battle.”
Still, after a spirited campaign, the polarizing president finds himself governing a changed country. He is an ailing and politically weakened winner facing an emboldened opposition that grew stronger and more confident as the voting neared, and that held out hope that an upset victory was within reach.
Mr. Chávez gave no indication Sunday night that the strong showing by the opposition would cause him to govern in a different way than before. He invited his opponents to give up a way of thinking “that has led them to deny everything that is good in Venezuela,” adding, “Venezuela is not a catastrophe — Venezuela today is the best Venezuela we’ve had in 200 years.”
When he finished speaking, he wiped sweat from his face with a bright red handkerchief and waved the yellow, blue and red national flag.