[T]he ministers involved in the Blair government were terrified of the demonstration. They were terrified of the strength of public opinion.The first twelve years of the 21st century have been eventful ones. Beginning with the biggest terrorist attack on American soil, it has since followed with an increasingly drawn out illegal war, uprising in the Arab world, the biggest global financial crisis since the Wall Street Crash in the 1930s and a global backlash to the stranglehold of neoliberal economics. The New World Order that began with the election of George H.W. Bush is under threat.
Hugo Chávez (waving a replica of 19th century revolutionary Símon Bolívar's sword) has once again triumphed over the bastions of neoliberal capitalism. After 14 years in power, he won 55% of the vote on a record 81% turnout, proving to the World Bank, the IMF, Barclays, and the United Statess (among others) that the people want socialism, not corporate imperialism. As Seamus Milne notes in the Guardian, despite the fact that Chávez's opponent Henrique Capriles was backed by the US (whose antagonism toward his government is well-known and most noteably manifested itself in a failed coup in 2002) and outspent him three to one using virtually all of the private media to his advantage, it was a decisive victory. Only two states, in which most all of the wealthy & bourgeois reside, went to Capriles. The other twenty-one went to Chávez. Milne celebrates the importance of this victory,
Venezuela and its Latin American allies have demonstrated that it's no longer necessary to accept a failed economic model, as many social democrats in Europe still do. They have shown it's possible to be both genuinely progressive and popular. Cynicism and media-fuelled ignorance have prevented many who would naturally identify with Latin America's transformation from recognising its significance. But Chávez's re-election has now ensured that the process will continue – and that the space for 21st-century alternatives will grow.