A man has been killed during protests in Venezuela against a plan to scrap presidential term limits. The country votes in a referendum on Sunday on Hugo Chavez’s planned constitutional reforms. They include increasing presidential mandates to seven year; allowing a president to stand for re-election an unlimited number of times and expanding his or her powers to expropriate private property.
While Chavez has been accustomed to easy victories, surveys show dissent growing throughout the country, even among his previously loyal supporters. A 19-year-old man was shot dead yesterday as he drove his truck through an area blocked by demonstrators.
Chavez condemned the death as part of what he called “a media and US plan to stoke violence”.
His opponents accuse him of concentrating power and seeking to be a president-for-life, like his friend and ally Fidel Castro.