Monday, August 16, 2004

What's that phrase...? Oh yeah. The markets have spoken!

(And, umm, the masses too.)

Oil prices today eased back from a run of record highs after Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, declared victory in a national referendum on his presidency.

As the prospect of political uncertainly in the world's fifth largest oil-producing country receded, the cost of a barrel of crude peaked at a 21-year high of $46.91 (£25.43) in New York before dipping back to $46.21.

With all the predictable 'fraud' bluster coming from the opposition, you'd think the Miami Herald, of all papers, would be on board. But it barely rates a mention, and even then contains more than a few hints of simple denial and sour grapes:

Haydee Deutsch, an opposition leader, said fraud had been committed and that the opposition "has no doubt that we won by an overwhelming majority."

At the opposition headquarters in Caracas, opponents watching the Carrasquero's announcement on television shouted "Fraud! Fraud!"

"This is impossible to swallow," said Jesus Torrealba, another opposition leader.

When even the Miami Herald can see the writing on the wall, it's time to pack it in.

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