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Venezuela's Chavez tells U.S. 'Go to hell, gringos!'

President Hugo Chavez told U.S. officials to "Go to hell, gringos!" and called U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "missy" on his weekly radio and TV show, lashing out at Washington for what he called unacceptable meddling in Venezuelan affairs.

Sunday's comments by the fiery leftist were in response to Washington's criticism of a measure to grant Chavez broad lawmaking powers. The National Assembly, which is controlled by the president's allies, is expected to give final approval this week to an "enabling law" that gives Chavez the authority to pass laws by decree for an 18-month period.

On Friday, U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Chavez's plans under the law "have caused us some concern."

Chavez rejected Casey's statement in his broadcast, saying: "Go to hell, gringos! Go home!"

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