In the News: Venezuelans Protest New Chavez Plans

Opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took to the streets this week over what they warn are Chavez’s plans to illegally increase his power. Demonstrators contended that a blacklist barring key opposition candidates from elections and a series of socialist decrees – many mirroring those rejected in a referendum last December – are destroying Venezuela’s democracy. The decrees came just before the expiration of legislative powers that allowed Chavez to make laws without approval from the National Assembly. Among other things, the decrees establish a civilian militia and provide the president with power to expropriate goods from private businesses. Chavez, however, said that anybody who wishes to challenge his decrees is welcome to do so in the Supreme Court.

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