Venezuela's Chavez vows 'better' presidency
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has 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 on Sunday 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.
After almost 14 years in power, Chavez survived cancer and the most formidable opponent of his presidency, youthful former state governor Henrique Capriles, to win the election and another six-year term.
The anti-US firebrand vowed to deepen his oil-funded socialist revolution after hailing his "perfect" victory.
But he also reached out to disenchanted voters by pledging to work with the opposition, a tacit acceptance that this was a narrower victory than in the past and that Venezuela is a country very much divided.
"I want to include everybody, including sectors of the opposition," Chavez, wearing his trademark red shirt, told thousands of cheering supporters from the balcony of his Miraflores presidential residence.
"I commit to being a better president than I've been these past few years," the 58-year-old leader said.