UPDATE (6 a.m., Monday) Venezuela’s voters have narrowly rejected the charter amendments aspiring dictator Hugo Chavez pushed to consolidate his power. ABC News story suggests a chastened Chavez. LA Times calls the vote a shocking electoral defeat.
Earlier post: Chavezistas claim victory. How soon does he use a fake crisis (perhaps involving Colombia) to invoke one-man rule?
Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez speaks Monday at the Heritage Center on U.S.-Colombia relations, “Colombia and the United States: Partners in Security, Partners in Prosperity.” The critical need for enactment of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement has only grown with today’s Venezuelan election.
UPDATE (9 p.m.): A now-poignant observation reported by The New York Times in 1999, citing a Caracas theater satirist:
Mr. Marquez closes the show by citing Gen. Carlos Soublette, a 19th-century President who, when informed of a satirical play in which he was the main target, responded that Venezuela would remain in good health so long as ”the people are able to mock their President.”
The country will only be in danger, he added, ”when the President makes a mockery of the people.”
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