Referendum vote allows Chavez to run again


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Venezuelan voters approved a referendum to abolish term limits, which will allow President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election indefinitely.

Some 54 percent of voters in Sunday’s poll approved the constitutional amendment. Voter turnout was 67 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Chavez, who was first elected president in 1998, announced Monday at a rally his plans to seek re-election in 2012.

"Those who voted ‘yes’ today voted for socialism, for revolution," Chavez told his supporters.

Chavez has been accused of fomenting an atmosphere of hate against the Jewish community in Venezuela, especially in the wake of Israel’s military operation in Gaza, where his statements directed at the Jewish community are said to have caused several anti-Semitic incidents, including a horrific attack on a Caracas synagogue.

Chavez maintains close ties with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has intimated he would like to see Israel eradicated.

Recommended from JTA