Venezuela: Turning Against Chavez ?by Doug Mataconis
In what may well be the last real chance the people of Venezuela have to stop Hugo Chavez by democratic means, it looks like there’s more than a few citizens of the country who’ve had enough:
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – 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.”
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.
Recent polls have suggested that the public as a whole is turning against Chavez’s proposed Constitutional changes, so it will be very interesting to see how things turn out on Sunday.