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  Friday, October 18, 2019
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Venezuelans are voting on Sunday in a referendum on a proposal
Venezuelans are voting on Sunday in a referendum on a proposal to remove presidential term limits from the Venezuelan constitution for President Hugo Chavez.

A former army paratrooper who styles himself the builder of "21st-century socialism," Chavez wants to change the wording of the country's constitution from "the president may be reelected only once" to simply "the president may be reelected" before his current term ends in 2012.

More than 50% of voters rejected a similar proposal as part of a package of constitutional amendments in a referendum in December 2007

The Venezuelan leader, who swore that he would put oil to work to realize Simon Bolivar's dream of consolidating the countries of Latin America, has pledged to continue "deepening the socialist revolution" and "fighting against poverty, corruption and crime."

Chavez, 54, who declared February 2 a national holiday to celebrate 10 years as Venezuela's president, said the country had entered a third phase of his "Bolivarian Revolution, " adding that the previous phases of the revolution - the first in 1999-2006 and the second in 2007-2009 - had been successfully implemented.

"These 10 years could be characterized by three words: revolution, independence and socialism," Chavez said. "The second phase is coming to its end and the third cycle of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela is beginning."

Chavez said the new phase could last for another decade until February 2019.


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