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Chavez Gets More Power by Nationalizing

As Venezuela embarked on another six years under Hugo Chavez, the president announced plans to nationalize power and telecom companies and make other bold changes that will concentrate more power in his hands.

Chavez, who will be sworn in Wednesday to a third term that runs until 2013, also said he wanted a constitutional amendment to strip the Central Bank of its autonomy and would soon ask the National Assembly, solidly controlled by his allies, to give him greater powers to legislate by presidential decree.

''We're moving toward a socialist republic of Venezuela, and that requires a deep reform of our national constitution,'' Chavez said in a televised address after swearing in his new Cabinet. ''We're heading toward socialism, and nothing and no one can prevent it.''

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