[Below is an English translation of President's Chavez's concession speech following the defeat of his constitutional reform proposal in a referendum. The constitutional reform referendum, which Chavez described as the most important vote of his presidency, was to help bring about "21st century socialism in Venezuela".]
reConcession Speech of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela
Presidential Address resident Chavez's historic concession speech, in which he had to concede, for the first time in nine years and after 12 nation-wide votes, that his side lost. The constitutional reform referendum, which Chavez described as the most important vote of his presidency, was to help bring about "21st century socialism in Venezuela.
Thank you very much! Good Day. We are on the national radio and television network and it is 01:25 am this Monday, which began very early, December 3, 2007.
International press and all the guests in the hall excuse us for the time you had to wait here but the process took a long time and we had to wait, as it should be, for this bulletin from the president of the national electoral council.
- How does that advertisement go?
- "A photo finish and the jockey with great joy!
Yolanda Pulecio, Astrid [Betancourt], welcome. Thank you! Pardon me for not being able to attend to you today or yesterday; Senator Piedad Córdoba thank you very much for being here.
OK, you've already heard the statements of the National Electoral Council President Dr. Tibisay Lucena regarding the bulletin that we were all anxiously awaiting, creating tension in the country. But, well, we've always had nerves of steel to confront any circumstance.
She read it and I'm going to repeat it, I was taking notes during her speech, an abstention-she said- of 44%, a little bit more, with 88%, nearly 90%, of the votes counted.
NO: 50.70% and YES: 49.29%. A photographic finish!
And she assured that this trend is a reversible.
I speak to you all from my heart
Ok! I'm going to speak primarily to the Venezuelans who are waiting in their homes, in the street, in front of the palace and around the world, via the media, as I always do: from my heart. I tell you what my heart says to me, especially in moments like these.
First of all I want to thank all those who have participated in this referendum over the past months and especially today, and all of you journalists from around the world, and Venezuelan journalists who've done a good job without a doubt. Also the thousands of Venezuelans who were working for up to 24 hours at the polls, the national electoral council- I want to congratulate Dr. Tibisay Lucena- have once again demonstrated the achievements and the ability of the Venezuelan State and Venezuelan democracy to carry out any election no matter how difficult. In this case it was one of great importance, of high political caliber, and above all very ethical, we can not conceive of politics unaccompanied by ethics. That is part of new politics of Venezuela. Here we all know countless stories, about countless tricks, countless frauds, and countless hidden manipulations of electoral processes during the fourth Republic.
(click here to view entire speech)