Hooray for Democracy in Venezuela!

President Hugo Chavez lost a recent referendum 51-49 percent that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely, have control over the Central Bank, handpick local leaders under a redrawn political map, and permit civil liberties to be suspended under extended states of emergency, among other things.

Hugo says he will respect the decision, but we'll see in 2012 when he'll be barred from running again. In the meantime, this is a victory for the survival of democracy in Venezuela, as Chavez will not have as much of an opportunity to centralize and consolidate power. Congrats, Venezuela.