With my morning tea, my bleary eyes read Simon Romero NYT summary and WaPo's Forero account.
Simon Romero considers the vote a victory for the opposition. Since he is based in Caracas I assume that he saw the campaign, that he understood the extraordinary unfair advantage of Chavez in the whole context and thus he can appreciate that what the opposition got was more than just a mere question of numbers: it was a feat by itself.
That does not mean that Forero did not get it either. But based in Bogota he cannot be as aware of all the abuses committed. One thing is to know about he abuses, he does, another thing is to be fully aware of the consequences of these abuses by suffering them on a daily basis. Thus he scores the result as sort of victory for Chavez but with crucial gains for the opposition.
Both are right in fact. Romero senses that Chavez has now more obstacles to his race for life presidency, and that is crucial enough for him that yesterday was a serious set back. Forero senses that Chavez still has power and that 17 states, no matter how small these states are, is still something he can use. When you read both articles then you have to agree with what I wrote last night: once again there was an election and nothing was solved.