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Chavez Discusses Term Limits, Private Property

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he believes unlimited terms in office should only be granted to the president - not to the governors and mayors of Venezuela.

In a national broadcast on Sunday, Mr. Chavez said his proposed constitutional reform would only abolish term limits for the office he holds, because local and state officeholders are not involved with what he called "national integration."

Opposition critics have accused President Chavez of moving toward a totalitarian form of government that resembles Cuba. Mr. Chavez is a close ally of Cuban Leader Fidel Castro.

During his radio address, Mr. Chavez also said Venezuela would respect private property ownership rights - as long as the owners follow local laws.

In January, Venezuela's legislature voted to allow Mr. Chavez to rule by decree. Since then, he has nationalized large parts of several industries including oil, electricity and telecommunications.