After Bolivia, Chavez turns up the steam on the US
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Venezuela's Hugo Chavez threatened to halt its oil supply to the US, and gave notice to Washington's ambassador in the country. Earlier, Bolivia and the US respectively expelled their ambassadors over Bolivia's allegations of US interference.
“Go to hell, Yankee scum,” a fired-up President Hugo Chavez said before a crowd of supporters on Thursday as he announced the expulsion, within three days, of
By imitating his Bolivian ally Evo Morales, who gave notice to the
“If oligarchs and Yankee lackeys directed and financed by the (
Crisis spreading in
The ongoing political crisis plaguing
For the past four days, unrest in
On Thursday, at least eight people died during clashes between government supporters and opposition members in the
“I don’t see how this is going to end,” Franck Poupeau, a sociologist at the French Institute for Andean Studies in
This isn’t the first time government supporters and opponents have been locked in clashes. Morales and five of the country’s nine provincial governors have been at loggerheads for months, and the two camps have now ceased all dialogue.
Anger stoked up by Morales’ constitutional plans
The central government’s plans for a new Constitution have drawn fierce opposition from the five provinces, who have branded the text as “statist and indigenist”, before unilaterally declaring autonomy. The proposed Constitution grants indigenous people the right to “govern themselves”. It will be submitted for approval by referendum at a date set by Congress.
Plans for a land reform bill have also fuelled the opposition’s ire. The government is targeting large landowners, most of whom live in
Evo Morales, boosted by the 67.4% of vote in his favour in the August 10 impeachment referendum, tried to rush his proposed Constitution through. However, it was opposed by four of the five provincial governors, who were also comforted in the referendum.
The government had set an initial date for the constitutional referendum for December 7, but the
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