Latin America

Blocking Bolivarian Boulevard

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The Venezuelan revolution might have to get by without a dictator-for-life:

In a fiercely contested referendum yesterday, voters rejected reforms that would have scrapped term limits on Mr Chavez's rule, given him control over foreign currency reserves and boosted powers to take over private property.

Mr Chavez conceded just after election officials said early yesterday that the "no" camp had about 51 per cent of the vote and that the President scored only about 49 per cent support.

Although he remains powerful and popular, it was the biggest electoral blow to the anti-US leader since he swept to power in 1998.