[T]he reforms would deepen the social and economic changes under President Chavez that have just begun to affect the population, lessening poverty and affording more human rights to the majority. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and health would be criminalized while community organizations would receive direct funding for social-development projects.
Apparently the poor didn’t get the message:
The loss signals waning support for Chavez’s drive to bring socialism to the region’s fourth-biggest economy by concentrating power in his hands and ramping up state control of private lives. Voters refused to abolish presidential term limits or allow government censorship during declared emergencies. Chavez also sought to shorten the work day and end central bank autonomy.
“This is the first significant setback that Chavez has ever had,” said Adam Isacson, director at the Center for International Policy in Washington. “He has lost popular support. He has lost support of some of the army and the poor.”
Never fear, Mr. Luna, I have a feeling the Chavez will try again:
“This is a democracy,” the president said in Caracas. “For me, this isn’t a defeat. This is for now.”