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Venezuela's Chavez calls for end to term limits

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for an end to presidential term limits on Wednesday to extend his rule and consolidate a self-styled socialist revolution in the OPEC nation.

The leftist former soldier also proposed eliminating central bank autonomy, strengthening state expropriation powers and giving himself control over international reserves as part of an overhaul of Venezuela's constitution.

Chavez's left-wing policies have sparked the ire of critics and U.S. officials who brand him an authoritarian menace and accuse him of using Venezuela's oil wealth to undermine democracy, but his majority poor supporters have handed him repeated electoral victories.

Unveiling his constitutional reform plans, which need to be approved in a referendum vote, Chavez said presidential terms should be extended by one year to seven years without restrictions on re-election.

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