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The whole road is packedThousands of Chavez supporters gathered on the road that runs past the Miraflores presidential palace on Sunday night to hear the results of the presidential election.

The area was a sea of waving national flags and red banners proclaiming support for Chavez; red t-shirts, baseball caps, bandanas and hats as far as the eye could see, and even the youngest children joining in with chants of ‘Uh! Ah! Chavez no se va!’ and ‘Victoria! Victoria! Victoria popular!’

Shortly after 10 o’clock, the director of the national electoral council announced the interim results: with 90% of the vote counted, Hugo Chavez had won a third term as president with 54.42% of the vote so far.

The crowd exploded with whoops and cheers and hoots of the ubiquitous plastic horns, hugging each other whilst singing the Venezuelan national anthem, before surging down the street towards the palace shouting ‘We want to see Chavez!’, where he appeared on the balcony to address the crowd, saying ‘Today nearly eight million Venezuelans voted for me, voted for our country, voted for independence and socialism’, the sheer joy and enthusiasm was palpable.

Neoliberal opposition candidate Capriles Radonski conceded defeat, trailing with just under 45%, or around six million votes. Turnout nationally was just under 81%. The result is an overwhelming confirmation of the support of the Venezuelan working class for the Bolivarian Revolution.

As we came home through central Caracas the street party was still going on, with music, dancing, cheering and shouts of 'Viva Chavez!'

Cat Allison