Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
Today in Latin America, Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Says May Relinquish Decree Power Early; Calls For National Conciliation

January 17, 2011 By Staff

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Facing a Congress with an increased opposition presence, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has adopted a more conciliatory tone. In a speech to the National Assembly on Saturday lasting seven hours, Chávez called for dialog with the opposition and offered to give up his power to rule by decree as early as May, reports Spanish daily El País.

The Congress passed the “Habilitating Law” to give Chávez special decree authority in December, back when Chávez’s supporters had the two-thirds majority necessary to pass major laws. Chávez supporters retain a simple majority in the new Congress.

Chávez’s opponents viewed his call with skepticism, pointing out that he has referred to them as “bandits” and has said on other occasions that reconciliation is not possible, according to The Associated Press.

In other news, the Venezuelan telecommunications commission urged the television station Televen to stop airing the Colombian soap opera “Chepe Fortuna,” alleging that it makes fun of Venezuela and Hugo Chávez.

One of the show’s characters is named “Venezuela,” and she has a dog named “Little Hugo.”

“After careful analysis, it was found that these contents promoted political and racial intolerance, xenophobia and incitement of crime,” Venezuela’s telecommunications commission said in a statement issued Thursday, according to CNN.

Producer and script writer Miguel Ángel Baquero said the show was “a comedy of manners that is only trying to entertain people.”

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[…] a newly elected Congress with an increased opposition presence, Chávez earlier adopted a more conciliatory tone and  offered to give up his power to rule by decree as early as […]

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