Venezuelans protest plan to give Chavez full power

January 24, 2007 01:54

Blowing whistles and waving flags, hundreds of Venezuelans protested Tuesday against a congressional measure that would grant President Hugo Chavez unbridled powers to pass laws by decree in areas from the economy to defense. Raising their hands in the air, some 400 to 500 protesters stood in a Caracas plaza and shouted in unison: "Faced with authoritarianism, more democracy!" The protest came as lawmakers in the entirely pro-Chavez National Assembly announced they would postpone until next Tuesday a session to grant final approval of a so-called "enabling law" allowing Chavez to enact laws by decree during an 18-month period. "It gives him total power," said Greys Pulido, a 40-year-old protester. "We don't want a dictatorship."

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