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Venezuela's Chavez Oversees Rally for Constitutional Reform


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez led a large rally Sunday in Caracas to build support for constitutional changes which would eliminate presidential term limits and further his socialist reforms.

Thousands of supporters wore red clothing and cheered Mr. Chavez as he called for "yes" votes in a December 2 referendum.

In addition to the term limits, the altered Venezuelan constitution would allow the president during a state of emergency to suspend media rights and to detain citizens without charges.

Venezuela's opposition, students, and the Roman Catholic church have condemned the plan to alter the constitution.

They accuse Mr. Chavez of attempting to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, by trying to stay in power forever through the new constitution.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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