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Chavez turns back clock for children

December 10, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

Venezuelans turned their clocks back 30 minutes Sunday in the latest measure introduced by President Hugo Chavez.

The time change is intended to optimize use of daylight hours and keep schoolchildren from having to wake up before dawn, Chavez has said.

But critics called it an arbitrary move by the socialist leader, who has redesigned the national flag, renamed the country the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and plans to launch a new currency, the "strong bolivar," in 2008.

The change puts Caracas half an hour ahead of New York and Washington during standard time, instead of the previous full hour.

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