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Massive Crowds Protest Chavez Power Grab

From those lovers of communist dictatorships at the Associated Press:

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans protest Chavez’s referendum

Nov. 29, 2007

CARACAS, Venezuela – Tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of the capital Thursday to oppose a referendum that would eliminate term limits for President Hugo Chavez and help him establish a socialist state in Venezuela.

Blowing whistles, waving placards and shouting “Not like this!” the marchers carried Venezuelan flags and dressed in blue – the chosen color of the opposition – as they streamed along Bolivar Avenue.

“This is a movement by those of us who oppose a change to this country’s way of life, because what (the referendum) aims to do is impose totalitarianism,” said former lawmaker Elias Matta. “There can’t be a communist Venezuela, and that’s why our society is reacting this way.”

The rally marked the close of the opposition’s campaign against the proposed constitutional changes, which will be submitted to a vote Sunday. Chavez plans to lead rallies in favor of the reforms Friday.

Venezuelans will vote on 69 proposed changes to nation’s 1999 constitution that would, among other things, eliminate presidential term limits, create forms of communal property and give greater power to the presidency.

Chavez denies that the proposals are a bid to seize unchecked power, saying the constitutional overhaul is necessary to give more of a voice to the people through community-based councils.

Rallies for and against the amendments have surged across this South American country in the run-up to the vote, occasionally leading to clashes. There were no immediate reports of violence Thursday.

On Wednesday, hundreds of stone-throwing students clashed with police and the Venezuelan national guard in a protest against the constitutional overhaul. Security forces responded with water cannons and tear gas.

Opposition leaders appeared confident Thursday that they have enough votes to defeat the referendum…

“Tens of thousands”?

If this were an anti-war rally or an illegal alien amnesty rally the Associated Press would have said the turnout was in the millions — at least.

But who should we believe? The AP or our lying eyes?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, November 29th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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