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Venezuelan President Pledges to Amend Spy Law


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government will amend a controversial new intelligence law that human rights groups say could silence his critics.

Mr. Chavez told supporters Saturday that his government will soon correct what he called "mistakes" in the law.

The new law replaces Venezuela's two main intelligence services with new agencies overseen by Mr. Chavez.

It requires Venezuelans to act as informants to secret police and community monitoring groups loyal to the president. Anyone who refuses to provide information faces two to six years in prison.

Human rights advocates and legal scholars have condemned the measure, saying it will force people to report on their neighbors to avoid prison terms.

Mr. Chavez says the law is intended to protect national security and combat U.S. interference.

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

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