Venezuela rejects proposed ammendments

Voters in Venezuela narrowly defeated a referendum on changing their constitution to abolish presidential term limits and vastly increase President Hugo Chavez’s executive powers.

Chavez had backed sixty-nine measures including eliminating presidential term limits, creating forms of communal property and cutting the workday from eight hours to six.

Turnout was lower than expected at fifty-five percent. It was Chavez’s first electoral loss since winning the presidency seven years ago. Tensions with the Bush administration increased in the lead-up to the vote. On Saturday, Chavez threatened to cut oil supplies to the U.S. over what he called ongoing political interference in Venezuelan affairs.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: “What I said yesterday was the ratification of a firm decision that we have made. If the government of the United States tried, once again, to intervene or tried to destabalize the government, we would not send anymore oil to the United States.”

Last week the Venezuelan government said it had obtained a secret CIA document plotting a destabilization campaign ahead of the referendum.
harpers weekly

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