Chavez wins fourth election, but it's close
VENEZUELANS awakened to the prospect of another six years under President Hugo Chavez as the leftist president's supporters celebrated his victory against a youthful rival and a galvanised opposition pledged to build on its gains.
Chavez emerged from the vote both strengthened and sobered, having reconfirmed his masterful political touch but also winning by his tightest margin yet. Challenger Henrique Capriles said while conceding defeat that his campaign had launched a new political force and that he would keep working for change.
The 58-year-old leader now has a freer hand to push for a bigger state role in the economy and deepen friendships with US rivals. Meanwhile, he's under pressure to address issues such as soaring crime rates and double-digit inflation.