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Chavez Reaches out to Opposition after Victory

Hugo Chavez pledged to become a "better president" and work with the opposition after winning a tough re-election battle that betrayed simmering discontent at his socialist revolution.

The leftist president's victory was a relief to like-minded allies in the region, with Cuban leader Raul Castro hailing his friend's "historic triumph," while the United States urged him to listen to the opposition.

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White House Congratulates Venezuelans on Election

The White House congratulated the Venezuelan people on a peaceful election on Monday, while admitting that the United States has "differences" with re-elected President Hugo Chavez.

"We have our differences with President Chavez," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. "But we congratulate the Venezuelan people," he added, on an election process that was "peaceful."

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U.S.: Venezuelan Opposition Views Should Be Considered

The United States on Monday voiced hope that the Venezuelan opposition's views would not be ignored, after leftist President Hugo Chavez, in power for 14 years, won re-election again.

"We believe that the views of the more than six million people who voted for the opposition should be taken into account going forward," said William Ostick, the State Department's spokesman for the Western Hemisphere.

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Chavez Wins Another Six-Year Term in Venezuela

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez shrugged off cancer and a unified opposition on Sunday to triumph yet again at the ballot box and win another six-year mandate to pursue his oil-funded socialist revolution.

His rival, 40-year-old Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles, was gracious in defeat, saying, "I accept and respect the decision of the people," but it was a bitter pill for the opposition and many in the divided country to swallow.

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Venezuelans Vote in Chavez's Toughest Election Yet

Venezuelans lined up to vote Sunday in the toughest election President Hugo Chavez has ever faced, with his near 14-year socialist revolution at stake against fresh-faced rival Henrique Capriles.

Voters stood in long lines to cast their ballots after Chavez supporters played military-style bugles before dawn to rally loyalists of the president, who is seeking a new six-year term to cement his oil-funded revolution.

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Chavez, Rival Close Campaigns with Huge Rallies

Venezuelans packed the streets of Caracas and other cities Thursday to hear President Hugo Chavez and opposition rival Henrique Capriles make their final pitches ahead of weekend elections.

As a downpour fell on Caracas, Chavez, who is seeking a new six-year term in Sunday's presidential vote, addressed hundreds of thousands of supporters who waved flags, danced and chanted: "Ooh! aah! Chavez won't go!"

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Chavez Enters Election's Last Stretch with Narrower Lead

After breezing through past elections, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez entered the last week of campaigning Sunday against a rival who has gained ground in opinion polls.

The leftist leader, in power for almost 14 years, is vying for a fourth term in office that would extend his presidency by another six years, but opposition candidate Henrique Capriles hopes to pull a major upset on October 7.

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China Rocket Puts Venezuela Satellite into Orbit

A Chinese rocket on Saturday successfully launched a Venezuelan earth-observation satellite into orbit, state media said.

The satellite, dubbed "Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda" after the major Venezuelan independence figure, was launched from the northwest Jiuquan base in the Gobi desert using a 'Long March' class rocket, said Xinhua.

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Firefighters Battle Fire at Venezuela Refinery

Venezuelan firefighters battled Monday to extinguish a devastating fire at the country's main oil refinery as President Hugo Chavez slammed reports that poor maintenance was to blame.

The Venezuelan leader promised an investigation into Saturday's tragedy that left 41 people dead -- a gas leak is the suspected cause -- and three days of national mourning were declared ahead of his trip to the Amuay refinery, in the country's far north.

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Venezuela in Mourning after Refinery Blast Kills 39

Venezuela was in mourning Sunday after a massive explosion tore through the country's largest refinery, killing at least 39 people and injuring more than 80 others.

President Hugo Chavez declared three days of national mourning Saturday, saying the tragedy affected "the great Venezuelan family, civilian and military."

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