Chavez Claims Victory in
President, close Castro supporter, secures another six-year term.
The Associated Press
Sunday 03 December 2006
Caracas, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez won re-election by a wide margin Sunday, giving the firebrand leftist six more years to redistribute Venezuela's vast oil wealth to the poor and press his campaign to counter U.S. influence in Latin America and beyond.
Challenger Manuel Rosales conceded defeat but vowed to remain in opposition. During the campaign, Rosales accused Chavez of edging Venezuela toward authoritarian rule and warned the president could undertake even more radical policies if re-elected.
Minutes after the results were announced, Chavez appeared on the balcony of the presidential palace singing the national anthem. He pledged to deepen his effort to transform Venezuela into a socialist society.