Venezuela's people have spoken out. They want the Bolivarian revolution to continue. They don't want a return to rule by big business.
Brazilian former president Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva dashed the efforts of right-wing opposition presidential hopeful Henrique Capriles Radonski in the summer to cast himself as a social democrat in Lula's image by sending a solidarity message to Hugo Chavez.
He noted the people's "extraordinary gains" won under Chavez, declaring that he should count on the backing of "every left-wing militant, every democrat and every Latin American."
Lula's resounding declaration that "Your victory will be ours" was intended for the region, but its relevance is wider still. This is because progressive victories in one part of the world encourage working people elsewhere to emulate them and because the global imperialist media bet heavily on Chavez's defeat.
Misrepresentation of Venezuela's policies has gone hand in hand with tendentious reporting of the election campaign. Recent months have witnessed consistency in opinion polls carried out by serious polling organisations in Venezuela, suggesting a 10 per cent advantage of the president.
However, opposition-linked outfits have asserted variously that the contenders were "neck and neck," that Capriles was closing in or even that he had overtaken the "candidate of the past."
Venezuela Solidarity Campaign pointed out before election day that exit polls are not taken in Venezuela and to beware of any claims said to be based on them since the opposition has used this dubious tactic before to try to discredit official results.
Capriles adviser Ricardo Haussmann announced that his campaign would deploy tens of thousands of his people at polling stations to name the winner before the official announcement.
Guess what? A Twitter feed suggesting that Capriles had won went viral before Venezuela's independent National Electoral Council (CNE) confirmed Chavez's victory by the expected 10-point margin.
Such a margin would be regarded as a landslide in Britain, but not in Venezuela, where its significance for the agencies lies in its being "the smallest yet for him in a presidential race."
Capriles had to admit defeat. There was no stomach for a campaign claiming electoral gerrymandering since CNE is so widely trusted that even the MUD coalition commissioned it to run the selection process that nominated Capriles as opposition candidate.
Venezuela elections are verifiably transparent, with voters identifiable by fingerprints to avoid impersonation.
The Carter Centre, headed by former US president Jimmy Carter, says that fraud is impossible under Venezuela's electoral system and it "guarantees the secrecy of the vote."
Unable to tar Venezuela democracy with the "rigged elections" brush, the imperialist media demeaned voters' political understanding.
News agencies sneered at Chavez's "populist" policies, by which they mean the government's tendency to use the natural wealth of the country to provide houses, education, subsidised essential foods, health care and welfare benefits for the population rather than see oil profits creamed off by a rich oligarchy.
The wealthy people who run global media outlets find this bizarre compared with the natural order of things in Britain where multimillionaire beneficiary of inherited wealth George Osborne floats the idea of starving the children of welfare claimants if their families are too big.
Compare the humanity of Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution with its antithesis at the heart of British government and toast Chavez's poll triumph.
The Venezuelan people's victory is our victory too.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.