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Chavez May Cement Power in Venezuela

Venezuelans voted on a referendum Sunday that gives President Hugo Chavez many new constitutional powers.

According to the NY Times, as of Sunday night, the Venezuelan government still did not release any results from the vote which caused politicians to believe that the vote was too close to call. The NY Times also reports that there were 69 amendments to the constitution made by Chavez. Some of them were to abolish presidential term limits, declare states of emergency for unlimited periods and increase the state's role in the economy. They also report that electoral officials said that results could come late Sunday evening or early Monday.

But the UK's The Guardian is already calling the vote a victory for Chavez and his supporters. They report that two exit polls suggest that voters approved the referendum. They also described the rhetoric that Chavez has been using to promote his policies. According to The Guardian, Chavez said that he would rule until 2050 if he kept winning elections. He also is quoted as saying that a vote against the referendum is a vote for US president George W. Bush.


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