ENDURING LEADER

Venezuela Votes to End Term Limits

Venezuela's lightning rod president Hugo Chavez got his wish today when a referendum to end presidential term limits passed with 54 percent of the vote. After first taking office in 1999, Chavez led the oil-rich nation in a socialist reinvention and became a powerful leader in his region, in part due to his unabashed willingness to speak out against America and in favor of Cuba. (Fidel Castro once said Venezuela's and Cuba's fates are "inseparable.") Chavez's success simultaneously wearies and guides his foes—among Chavez's rivals is Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, who is currently looking into precedents for abolishing his term limits. To detractors, Chavez offers little sympathy: "Ten years is nothing. I don't know why they are complaining."