President Hugo Chavez urged supporters Friday to approve constitutional changes that he said could keep him in power for life and threatened to cut off oil exports to the United States if it tries to meddle in Sunday's vote.
Speaking to more than 200,000 supporters, Chavez warned that his opponents at home could try to sabotage the vote with backing from Washington through violent protests on the night of the vote.
"If 'yes' wins on Sunday and the Venezuelan oligarchy, the violent Venezuelans _ the ones who play the (U.S.) empire's game _ unleash violence with the tale that there was fraud ... minister, that very Monday you order a halt to the shipments of oil to the United States," Chavez said, addressing his oil minister, Rafael Ramirez.
"Oil will not go out to the United States," Chavez said, warning the opposition if they take to streets to deny a legitimate victory, "they're going to regret it."
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