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World Briefing / VENEZUELA

3,000 march to protest Chavez's laws

August 10, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

About 3,000 opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez marched through Caracas, the capital, to protest a package of laws that expand his power and accelerate his push toward socialism.

Shouting chants and waving balloons reading "play fair," they complained that some of the laws resemble constitutional reforms sought by Chavez that voters rejected at the polls in December.

Chavez approved the package of 26 laws on July 31, the last day of special legislative powers granted him by the National Assembly. He says the new rules, which increase government control over food production and commerce and create civilian militias, among other things, will strengthen the country's institutions.

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