MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accepted his defeat minutes after the election results in Venezuela were released.
But in Doral, it was a day of celebration for the Venezuelan people.
The party continued until the wee hours of the morning after hearing the results out of their home country that Venezuela’s opposition won control of the National Assembly- their legislature-by a landslide.
“We’re so happy! Its like Christmas arrived last night for the Venezuelans,” said Maria Eugenia Gonzalez.
The results stunned the ruling party and altered the balance of power 17 years after the late Hugo Chavez kicked off the nation’s socialist revolution.
“We are very happy after 17 years of having complete destruction of our beautiful country that right now we could reconstruct and it means work for everybody,” said Ernesto Ackerman.
Following the announcement Sunday, President Maduro asked for his followers to remain united and suggested hard times would come leaving his followers with the task to rework the revolution.
“We have come with our morals, with our ethics, to recognize these adverse results and accept them and to tell Venezuela that they have won the constitution and democracy. We accept it,” said Maduro in Spanish.
With the legacy of Chavez on his shoulders, Maduro blamed the loss on economic circumstances.
“The economic war has won. The strategy to undermine the confidence of a project for the country has won,” said Maduro.
“It’s been a continuous battle. We go in line five to six hours to buy food, milk. People stand in line for diapers for their baby and have to bring their baby with them in line otherwise they can’t get diapers. Medicine is impossible to find,” said Gonzalez.
While many Venezuelans agree it will not be an easy transition, they say it is the right step towards democracy.
“It kind of would work like Congress here. Now the assembly has a majority but the president is from another party. They have to work together and implement laws and hopefully change the president. If he can’t take the heat, step down,” said Gonzalez.
To his rivals, Maduro had some advise he used from Chavez’s speech when he lost the referendum to change the constitution in 2007 – the only time Chavez lost.
“Govern well with this triumph,” said Maduro.
As the leader of Chavismo that is not used to defeat, Maduro said while there are difficulties, it would not discourage them but the sad applause and bittersweet smiles from their leaders appeared to show the contrary.
As for the new National Assembly, sworn in on January 6th, they will have the power to call for the impeachment of Maduro.