El Universal | 17.08.2004 01:04 | Venezuela
Caracas - President Hugo Chávez said today that his victory in the referendum that sought to remove him from power represents the ratification of more than his presidency: it is the ratification of a "project" or "concept" of a Bolivarian alternative to capitalism that will achieve a true democracy. He also lamented the fact that the opposition still has not conceded defeat.
"It is inexplicable that at these levels some directors of the opposition still wouldn't have the maturity, or the democratic appearance to accept that they weren't successful in revoking my mandate, and that on the contrary they are beginning to act more forcefully again, in an attempt to drive the country in the direction of disobedience of the laws," said Chávez in front of dozens of foreign correspondents.
He said that one can recognize faults of the National Electoral Council, but that in his opinion the denunciation of fraud "for which there is not even a trace" is part of a destabilization plan.
"However, I am certain that they are going to fail again in this attempt to undermine the authorities, the Constitution, and the will of the people," including those who voted against him. "This course has nothing to do with the hundreds of thousands of compatriots who voted for the 'Yes' [i.e. against Chavez]", he indicated.
President Chávez suggested that the vicepresident of CHE Ezequiel Zamora and the director Sobella Mejia resign from their posts for having begun the destabilization plan.
"It's very difficult for me to understand the attitudes of the directors of the CNE that simply behaved this morning like snipers, against the very body that they represent, and for this they should resign from their posts because what they did was expose the voters to lies to begin their destabilization plan."
He reiterated his call for dialogue with the opposition in order to "come together to discuss a new era in Venezuela."
He said that he has confidence in "the good judgement" of the international observers and characterized the statements of ex-president Jimmy Carter and the general secretary of the Organization of American States (OAS), Cesar Gaviria, as "very clear" and "convincing."
He indicated that, although his position was clear from last night, it seemed to him a good idea to spend the morning discussing with different sectors and trying to "bring them to reason." "Unfortunately, it seems that this has not been accomplished," he added.
"We have lived through several moments like these... December 6th, December 15th when we approved the Bolivarian Constitution, on all of these occasions of resounding triumph, this has all already occurred, and we continue and will continue undefeated because we are creating the future," he indicated.
He said to those who voted "Yes" that they shouldn't feel defeated, because on the contrary they have defeated violence and fascism. He said that they should accept the victory with "humility" and not be "blinded by victory."
He regocnizes that 40% of voters opposed his mandate, which he indicated to be "respectable."