Tensions high ahead of vote that would expand Chavez's powers in Venezuela

By
December 1, 2007 22:08

 
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez faces his stiffest challenge in years Sunday as voters decide whether to approve constitutional changes that would greatly expand his powers and let him seek re-election for decades to come. An emboldened opposition and recent violent clashes in street protests point to a potentially volatile dispute if the vote is close. Chavez has warned opponents he will not tolerate attempts to stir up violence, threatening to cut off oil exports to the US if Washington interferes. Chavez calls the constitutional overhaul vital to making Venezuela a socialist state, and labels those who resist it pawns of US President George W. Bush.

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