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 Hugo Chavez dismantling Democracy in Venezuela?

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Andy
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PostSubject: Hugo Chavez dismantling Democracy in Venezuela?   Thu Jan 11, 2007 6:10 pm

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Source: Fox News

CARACAS, Venezuela Hugo Chavez, the left-wing leader who is moving toward totalitarian rule at home in Venezuela and backing guerrilla movements in the region, could become a test for the new Bush administration.

"I think we have to view, at this point, the government of Venezuela as a negative force in the region," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her confirmation hearings last month.

Venezuela is the world's fifth-largest oil producer; Chavez basically controls 15 percent of U.S. oil imports. He allegedly is taking billions of dollars in revenue to grease the way to one-man rule of a country with a 50-year history of democracy.

After failing to take the country in a 1992 coup, Chavez was elected President in 1998. He has packed the courts with supporters and enacted new laws stifling any bad press coverage of his administration by the media. Chavez is also stripping property from wealthy landowners and giving it to squatters, buoying his popularity among the poor.
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