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AFP. 10 December 2001. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lashes out on
challenge to his authority.

CARACAS -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday lashed out at an
unprecedented joint business-labor challenge to his authority,
threatening to "put the screws" to those opposing his economic reforms.

"I'm going to start putting the screws on," Chavez warned, shouting
above the din of protestors banging on saucepans.

Chavez, who is facing an unheard-of joint labor-employer national strike
against his government's unilateral policies, then called on law
enforcement agencies to stand by him and "apply the law to those who
break the law."

Dismissing the strike as "blackmail" on the part of business elites,
Chavez vowed to speed up the application of a package of 49 laws he
approved November 13 by presidential decree, bypassing the country's
parliament and ignoring its business community.

"Now we have even more reason to accelerate compliance of the laws we
have approved," Chavez said at an Air Force ceremony being held just
east of the capital.

Even as he was speaking some 2,000 rural workers and political
supporters carrying posters damning the strike were gathering in the
city's central Caracas square where the president was due to make a
speech at midday on his controversial land reform law.

Chavez has vowed to speed up the application of a package of 49 laws he
approved November 13 by presidential decree, including his controversial
land expropriation law.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Barry Stoller
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ProletarianNews

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