NBC: Chavez Reelection 'An Emotional Moment in History' for Supporters

In Caracas reporting on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez winning an "unprecedented third term" for Monday's NBC Today, reporter Kerry Sanders seemed to be swept up in the excitement: "For Chavez's supporters, his reelection is an emotional moment in history. Fireworks filled the skies as a street party continued well into the early morning hours. A Chavez victory, say supporters, means his brand of socialism is here to stay." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Sanders promoted Chavez as "a star among the poor in South America" and propagandized for his dictatorial regime: "Chavez's socialist revolution has captured the imagination of the poor here, in large part because he's taken this nation's oil wealth and used its profits to give away free homes and subsidize grocery bills."

Briefly outlining the position of Chavez's opponent, Sanders explained: "Henrique Capriles, who is treated like a rock star himself, says the nation's oil wealth has been siphoned by a corrupt government. His supporters, mostly the middle class and wealthy, many of them now say they will now leave Venezuela, likely destination, the United States."


Here is a full transcript of the October 8 report:

7:08AM ET

NATALIE MORALES: An unprecedented third term for Hugo Chavez as the socialist leader is reelected president of Venezuela. NBC's Kerry Sanders is in Caracas with more. Kerry, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Re-elected; Venezuela's Hugo Chavez Wins Unprecedented Third Term]

KERRY SANDERS: Good morning, Natalie. The official result showed that President Hugo Chavez won that unprecedented third term with 54% of the vote. The newspaper headline here says it all, "Six More Years." For Chavez's supporters, his reelection is an emotional moment in history. Fireworks filled the skies as a street party continued well into the early morning hours. A Chavez victory, say supporters, means his brand of socialism is here to stay.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We want to live in socialismo, we want to have a better life.

SANDERS: Hugo Chavez, 58 years old, a star among the poor in South America, was himself surrounded by a Hollywood star Sunday, actor Danny Glover, a Chavez supporter. For almost 14 years, Chavez's socialist revolution has captured the imagination of the poor here, in large part because he's taken this nation's oil wealth and used its profits to give away free homes and subsidize grocery bills.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN B: I'm sorry for them, Hugo Chavez.

SANDERS: But opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who is treated like a rock star himself, says the nation's oil wealth has been siphoned by a corrupt government. His supporters, mostly the middle class and wealthy, many of them now say they will now leave Venezuela, likely destination, the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN C: A lot of Venezuelans will continue fighting for freedom.

SANDERS: President Hugo Chavez is battling cancer. Were it to take his life in the first four years of his new term, the vice president would serve for only 30 days, just enough time to stage a new election. Natalie.

MORALES: Alright, Kerry Sanders in Caracas, Venezuela. Thank you, Kerry.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC