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Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez going down? Update: Chavez wins; tanks in streets

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http://twitter.com/#!/DRUDGE_REPORT/status/255090098469756928

Matt Drudge links to a report from Madrid&;s ABC.es that longtime Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez may be ousted in today&8217;s presidential vote. The agency reports that exit polling shows challenger Henrique Capriles leading Chavez by a three-point margin of 51.3% to 48.06%.

The mood in Venezuela is reportedly tense, as people wait to see whether Chavez&8217;s grip on power has finally been released:

Tension overwhelms Venezuela tonight as votes are counted&; ComiendoUñas, or "Biting my nails" is trending 7O

— KarlaZabs (@karlazabs) October 8, 2012

Today&8217;s election is being closely watched in Congress. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,  tweeted about an interview she gave regarding the vote:

Did interview w/Channel 4 on today&;s Venezuela elections + why it matters to US! http://t.co/MVxW1Lbv

— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) October 7, 2012

And members of Congress aren&8217;t the only U.S. residents paying close attention. Today&8217;s vote has brought many Venezuelans living in the U.S. to the polls:

The people of Venezuela continue voting in NewOrleans NOLA La comunidad venezolana sigue votando en Nueva Orleans pic.twitter.com/RCdcYLka

— Embassy of Venezuela (@VenezuelaInUS) October 7, 2012

@UnivisionNews: Venezuelan voters waiting in line outside of consulate in Chicago, IL. Venezuela Chicago pic.twitter.com/ZTaJuf3X

— Alex Pena (@AlexanderMPena) October 7, 2012

If Chavez is finally beaten, there&8217;ll be no one sadder than his liberal buddies in Hollywood.

@nbcnightlynews @todayshow A surprise hugochavez supporter in Venezuela for the elections here today. DannyGlover of acting fame.

— Kerry Sanders (@KerryNBC) October 7, 2012

Sean Penn Campaigns for Hugo Chavez&039;s Reelection in Venezuela&8230; http://t.co/uf831OD6

— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) August 7, 2012

Penn and Glover were brave to go to a dangerous place like Venezuela to campaign for Chavez, while Chavez fan Kevin Spacey apparently wasn&8217;t able to make it. Of course, it&8217;s worth noting that it&8217;s been much more dangerous to oppose Chavez than to support him:

2 shot to death when loyalists of Chavez, Capriles face off on a road in Barinas http://t.co/AshiaSd1 Venezuela

— Ian James (@TDSIanJames) September 30, 2012

Was the election clean? Well, just a few weeks ago, none other than former U.S. President Jimmuh Carter reported the Venezuelan electoral process to be &;the best in the world&; — definitely better than  the corrupt system in the United States. Today Carter&8217;s eating crow, as his own Carter Center reported that Chavez is cheating:

Carter Center prelim report lists numerous concerns in Venezuela including Chavez&039;s use of govt resources to campaign http://t.co/KpX1H3Nj

— boz (@bloggingsbyboz) October 7, 2012

Don&8217;t sweat it Mr. President; your reputation won&8217;t get much worse just because you looked silly one more time.

Chavez says that if he winds up going down to defeat, he will respect the results of the election:

Hugo Chavez says he&039;ll respect the result&039;s of Sunday&039;s election whatever they might be Venezuela

— Frank Bajak (@fbajak) October 7, 2012

Hopefully he&8217;ll get the chance to make good on that promise.

Former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noreiga recently noted that Chavez has not looked good as he has campaigned while fighting cancer:

Dramatic video: Venezuela&039;s cancer-stricken leader Chavez faints @ Oct 4 rally; election on Sunday. http://t.co/GIfWmPce @stephenfhayes

— Roger Noriega (@rogernoriegaUSA) October 6, 2012

Is it too much to hope that if Chavez does end up in involuntary retirement, his preferred candidate for President of the U.S. gets beaten as well?

Hugo Chavez Endorses Obama: President Obama has received &;Hugo Chavez&039;s seal of approval. Speaking on Venezuelan&8230; http://t.co/rDkbNngA

— American Spectator (@AmSpec) September 30, 2012

Update:

According to Venezuela&8217;s Electoral Council, Chavez has won (via AP/Drudge):

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) &; Venezuela&8217;s electoral council says President Hugo Chavez has won re-election, defeating challenger Henrique Capriles.

National Electoral Council president Tibisay Lucena says that with most votes counted, Chavez had about 54 percent of the vote.

Chavez spokesman Eva Colinger declares victory, says Henrique Capriles has conceded:

@Nacionalista 54-44, Chavez wins, irreversible results. Over 80% voter participation! A great election!

— Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) October 8, 2012

Extraordinaria jornada electoral en Venezuela! Chávez y la mayoría del pueblo victoriosos de nuevo VivaChávez

— Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) October 8, 2012

Losing candidate Henrique Capriles accepts defeat. Hugo Chavez wins Venezuela&039;s elections 54-44. Venezuela Democracy

— Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) October 8, 2012

Chavez tweets: &8220;Thank you my God, thank you everyone!&8221;

"Thank you my God, thank you everyone!" tweets Chávez. RT @chavezcandanga&010;Gracias Dios mío! Gracias a todos y a todas!!

— Adrian Bono (@AdrianBono) October 8, 2012

Not everyone is convinced that this was a fair election:

Hugo Chavez wins "re-election." I call bullshit on that

— Oheney Duodu (@FreshPrince_gh) October 8, 2012

Well no voter fraud there I&039;m sure. “@AP: Hugo Chavez wins Venezuela presidential vote, electoral council says: http://t.co/wK6z6i5G &; VW”

— bapfaff (@bapfaff) October 8, 2012

I call BULLSHIT! RT @nytimes: Breaking News: President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela Wins Re-election&010;http://t.co/0mwkPfyp

— JennyLee Molina (@jennyleeisme) October 8, 2012

Suuurrre he won: Fraud @AP: BREAKING: Hugo Chavez wins Venezuela presidential vote, electoral council says

— Marcia Capellán (@MissMarciaC) October 8, 2012

RT“@AP: Hugo Chavez wins Venezuela presidential vote, electoral council says: http://t.co/q9x1vvDe &8211; VW”&010;&010;I call bullshit!

— Rolen Widdahomees (@onerebeldevil) October 8, 2012

Update:

Tanks in the streets:

Tanks hitting the streets in Venezuela. (via @ArturoGVilla) pic.twitter.com/6pFKmB6B

— Adrian Bono (@AdrianBono) October 8, 2012

Tanquetas cerca del club italo, Barquisimeto yolocubro @elimpulsocom pic.twitter.com/48BYvwV5

— Francisco Perez (@tesne) October 8, 2012

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/10/07/venezuelas-hugo-chavez-going-down/

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